The European Court of Justice has ruled that European Union member states do not have to issue visas to refugees at risk of torture or inhumane treatment. The decision made by the court cuts off a possible channel for refugees attempting to enter Europe. The court ruled on a case of a Syrian family from the city of Aleppo who applied for a visa to stay with acquaintances in Belgium in October. Belgian authorities had refused the visa, leading to a court battle. The ruling comes as the EU is trying to curb immigration after taking in some 1.6 million refugees and migrants who arrived across the Mediterranean in 2014-2016.