EU High Court Rules Iranian Christian Convert Cannot Be Denied Asylum
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that governments must grant Iranian Christian converts a fair evaluation before they can be denied asylum and sent back to the Islam Republic.
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human rights ruled in the case of F.G vs. Sweden, this week, establishing that the Swedish government must fairly assess the dangers of sending an newly converted Iranian Christian back home, where he could face persecution, reports the Christian Post.
The court is now requiring the Swedish Migration Office to go back and review the convert's case to fully analyze the consequences that his conversion would have in Iran.
Iran, ranked as the ninth worst country for Christian persecution, considers leaving Islam a criminal offense punishable by death.
"Sadly, the anti-conversion laws in Iran pose a direct threat to those who have converted to Christianity, and we must ensure that a convert's right to life is being upheld by all means," Paul Coleman, senior counsel and deputy director for Alliance Defending Freedom International, said in a statement.
"If identified by the Iranian government, Christian converts often, at minimum, suffer substantial harm or interference with life by way of deprivation of liberty, assaults and continual harassment; or in the worse case the individual could face severe mistreatment and even death," a brief filed by the European Center for Law and Justice stated.
The court also stated that Sweden would be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights if it did not provide a fair assessment of danger before returning the convert to his home country.
"We welcome the court's decision, which took ADF International's arguments into account and found a breach of the applicant's right to life and right of protection against torture if the applicant were to be returned to Iran without an appropriate assessment of the risk and consequences he would be facing as a Christian," said Coleman.