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Top EU court rules asylum may be denied to those with terror links

[JURIST] The European Court of Justice [official website] ruled [judgment] Tuesday that those seeking asylum in the EU may be denied if they have any ties to terrorism. The case was in regards to Mostafa Lounani, a Moroccan national. Lounani was convicted in 2006 of preparing forged documents in an attempt to transport radicalized volunteers to Iraq. In 2010 Lounani applied in Belgium for refugee status, fearing what retribution might come from the Moroccan government due to him being labeled a radical terrorist. This petition was initially denied, then granted, but finally rejected by the High Court. The court backed its judgment by citing [press release] the UN Security Council's [official website] concern over the growing threat of international terrorism.

Countries around the world have struggled recently to balance national security interests with rights of refugees and asylum seekers. Last week US President Donald Trump signed a controversial executive order suspending immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations, sparking legal challenges and mass protests. Also last week Slovenia passed amendments to enact emergency measures to deny refugees [JURIST report] entry into the country and to expel those who did not have their asylum claims properly assessed. Earlier this month Human Rights Watch reported that Croatia is forcing asylum seekers [JURIST report] back to Serbia, contrary to EU policy.

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