France has decided that an Egyptian Coptic Christian man should be returned to his native country, but the European Court of Human Rights last week asked France to reconsider.

AFP reports that the man, identified as M.E., arrived in France in 2007 from the Upper-Egypt governate of Assiut, and later claimed he and his family faced attacks and threats while he lived in the heavily Coptic region. French courts denied his application for asylum, saying his predictions of threats if sent home were not persuasive.

The European Court, however, pointed to the increase of violence against Copts predating Egypt’s 2011 revolution and noted there was “no evidence that the situation of Coptic Christians had improved in the meantime”.