The initiation of the procedure for the recognition of statelessness status does not require the applicant to be in the national territory, it is sufficient for the applicant to be at a border point.
Saharawi refugees living in its camps have not explicitly or implicitly been recognised as Algerian nationals, by the Algerian Government. The applicant’s passport issued by the Algerian Government grants the status of a travel document. Specifically, it was granted to allow the applicant to travel for medical reasons. The applicant’s stateless status must be recognised.
The applicant, of Palestinian origin, applied for stateless status, arguing that Spain does not recognise Palestine as a State. The Supreme Court rejected her application arguing that many countries in the international community recognise Palestine as a state, implying that Palestine provided the applicant with protection.
The Supreme Court held that a passport issued by the Algerian authorities to a Saharawi person living at the refugee camps only serves as a travel document and does not confirm that the applicant has Algerian nationality. The applicant is stateless and must be officially recognised as such.
Saharawi people who live in Algerian refugee camps do not have a nationality, therefore they are stateless and must be officially recognized as such.
The applicant is a Saharawi man who was born in the former Spanish Sahara and who, in 1979, fled to the Saharawi refugee camps in Tindouf (Algeria), where he lived until 2005, when he arrived in Spain after being issued a passport by the Algerian authorities. In Spain, he applied for statelessness status. The Ministry of Interior rejected his application based on his Algerian passport, but this decision was overturned, on appeal, by the High Court, which found that Algerian passports are just travel documents.
The case concerns a Saharawi woman who was not recognised as a stateless person by the Ministry of Interior, in a decision which was later upheld by the High Court. The Supreme Court overturned both the lower decisions.