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Ukraine: Subsidiary protection to Ukrainian citizen conscientious objector

Court of Perugia, decree of 10 March 2022

The judge of the Court of Perugia granted subsidiary protection to a Ukrainian citizen who fled in 2014 to avoid being forced to fight in the Donbass region, as he did not want to take part in the conflict because of his evangelical Christian faith.

The Court considers the decision of the Territorial Commission to be well-founded when it states that Ukrainian law provides for conscientious objection on religious grounds. It therefore does not consider that the conditions for refugee status are fulfilled. However, it considers that the judgement on the entitlement to protection must refer to the present situation. Exactly, to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia on 24.2.2022, "attacking its main cities and progressively occupying its territory, with military operations and bombardments that have caused several hundred deaths and have already produced about two million refugees".

The Judge recalls the declaration of the UN General Assembly which "deplored in the strongest terms the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, in violation of Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, in its draft resolution of 1 March 2022".

Therefore, he recognises, subsidiary protection "because it appears that, by reason of the serious deterioration of security in the territory of origin (and also in the western areas of Ukraine, from which the applicant comes and which have been the subject, just in these days, of attacks), a civilian by his mere stay in the territory, runs the serious risk of suffering serious harm".

Prof. Avv. Paolo Iafrate

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