The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has given a series of rulings on deportation cases involving migrants who had either been convicted of crimes or deemed a security threat, refusing to allow them to be deported in case they face torture in their own countries.

The three cases ruled on by the court involve migrants from Congo, Ivory Coast, and Chechnya who were refused asylum status in either Belgium or the Czech Republic because they had either been convicted of serious crimes or deemed to be a threat to the national security of either country, Il Giornale reports.

The court, which is based in Luxembourg, said that a denial of asylum does not mean that the asylum seekers will be automatically deported, saying that they still fall under the protection of the Geneva Convention and if there is reasonable evidence that they will be tortured or killed in their home countries, the migrants cannot be deported from Europe.

The ruling could be a blow for populist Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini who has promised to begin deportations of criminal migrants to their home countries and has set aside money to help negotiate the transfer of illegal migrants to countries where Italy does not have repatriation agreements.

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