Extradition from Germany
to Saudi Arabia

Extradition from Germany to Saudi Arabia
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Since human rights are not respected everywhere in the world to the same extent, extradition to a third country not only entails the risk of deprivation of liberty for the persons concerned. In some cases, they also have to fear for their physical integrity, even for their very lives.

Schlun & Elseven is an internationally active law firm specializing, among other things, in representing clients in extradition proceedings. Our extradition lawyers have the necessary expertise and years of experience in dealing with Interpol and the extradition authorities to represent you with competence and commitment during this difficult time. We not only take care of clients who are to be extradited from or to Germany. We also take care of the cancellation of Interpol Red Notices, regardless of which country initiated them.

Germany has not concluded an extradition agreement with Saudi Arabia. Extraditions can take place without an agreement according to the requirements of the IRG, the Law on International Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

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Extradition of German Citizens to Saudi Arabia

German citizens are not extradited to third countries, such as Saudi Arabia. Third countries are those that do not belong to the EU. The special protection of German nationals is guaranteed by the constitution, Article 16 (2) GG. Extradition to other EU states or to international courts is possible if the principles of the rule of the law are upheld.

Extradition of non-German EU Citizens to Saudi Arabia

The extradition of non-German EU citizens to third countries is in principle possible. In the Petruhhin and Pisciotti judgments, the ECJ found that this does not violate the general prohibition of discrimination, Article 18 TFEU. However, the respective Member State to which the person concerned belongs has a priority right to transfer its national. For this purpose, it must be informed prior to extradition.

Removal of a Red Notice from Saudi Arabia – Worldwide

If Saudi Arabia requests a person’s apprehension and subsequent extradition, the Saudi Arabian authorities can obtain an Interpol Red Notice for this person. Such a red notice can be challenged as a precautionary measure or only when it becomes known. Our experienced lawyers for extradition law will submit requests for information to the respective Nation Central Bureaus (NCBs) on your behalf, prepare and file corresponding protective letters and work unerringly towards the cancellation of the Red Notice – so that you can once again move freely in the world without worrying about an immanent arrest and the associated consequences and risks.

Extradition Requirements under the IRG

Any foreigner within the meaning of Section 2 (3) IRG in conjunction with Article 116 (1) GG may be extradited. The act committed abroad must constitute a criminal offence under German law within a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 1 year.

If the extradition request is based solely on political motives, military breaches of duty or personal characteristics such as the religion or nationality of the person concerned, it is rejected as inadmissible, Articles 6 and 7 IRG. Extradition is also inadmissible if there is reasonable suspicion that the person concerned will suffer adverse treatment in the requesting state on account of personal characteristics, Section 6 (2) IRG.

If the person concerned is also to be punished in the requesting country for acts other than those alleged in the extradition request, the extradition is rejected as inadmissible, Section 11 IRG. However, the requested country may consent to such punishment.

Consent is also required for the further extradition, transfer or deportation of the person concerned to a third country. Furthermore, Germany only extradites if the person concerned can also leave the requesting state again after serving his sentence, Section 11 (3) IRG.

Potential Problems of Extradition to Saudi Arabia

Death Penalty:

The death penalty is a legal punishment in Saudi Arabia and continues to be carried out as such. Although the number of death sentences carried out is generally decreasing, on the 12th of March 2021, 81 people were executed. The death penalty may be imposed, for example, for possession of narcotics. Homosexuality or extramarital sex can also be punished by beatings or death. The German Foreign Office strongly advises unmarried women not to give birth in Saudi Arabia because of the criminal consequences.

Extraditions may only be carried out if the requesting state guarantees in the individual case that the death penalty will not be imposed or at least not carried out, Section 8 IRG. The fact that Saudi law stipulates that the crime in question is punishable by death does not automatically prevent extradition.

Human and civil rights:

According to the German Foreign Office, human rights in Saudi Arabia apply only subject to their compatibility with Sharia law. The risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, however, precludes extradition from Germany under Article 3 ECHR.

Reports from Amnesty International indicate that prisoners in Saudi Arabia do not receive adequate medical care, and mental impairments are not recognized and treated, or at least not sufficiently. Freedom of expression is very severely restricted in this country. For example, a Saudi Arabian citizen who spoke out on Twitter against the oppression of women was recently sentenced to 34 years in prison.

Furthermore, it is common in Saudi Arabia to impose a ban on leaving the country in addition to a sentence of imprisonment or beating, so that there is always a risk of renewed arbitrary arrest after the release.

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