Son’s crime leads to family’s eviction

Supreme Court denies an Aarhus family’s claim that their eviction was a breach of human rights conventions

The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the housing association Brabrand in Aarhus was within its rights to kick two families out of their flats following the sentencing of two family members for arson.

The case dates back to 2010, when two sons of the families in question were sentenced to three and a half years in prison for burning down a daycare institution in the Gellerupparken district of Aarhus. Following the verdict, the housing association decided to kick the two families out of their homes to ensure the safety of other residents in the area. 

“We had to terminate their contracts because some members of the family have committed serious criminal acts,” Jesper Pedersen, the chairman of the housing association, told DR Nyheder. “This has created a lot of insecurity in the area and we felt that it was our duty to consider the interests of the majority rather than of the individual.” 

The families’ attorneys had argued that the termination of their contracts was a breach of Article 8 of the European Human Rights Convention, which ensures a citizen’s right to a “family life”. 

The court, however, found that as the sentenced sons were a real threat to the area, the housing association was within its right to terminate the contracts. The decision was not a human rights violation, the court declared. The decision sets a precedent that other housing associations can follow in the future.

“A political decision”
The father of one of the families involved, Mohamad Thahrour, claimed that the case was not fair and that there were ulterior motives behind the verdict. 

“This is not a legal issue, it is a political one,” Thahrour told Dr Nyheder.

When the arson case against his son was first brought up in 2008, Thahrour told TV2 News that his son was innocent and that his son was provoked into burning the daycare as a result of police harassment. In the interview, it was revealed that two more sons of the Thahrour family have been charged with criminal acts, including robbery and assault.