EU Human Rights Court Rules Iranian Christian Converts’ Right to Seek Asylum Can’t Be Denied

(Photo: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) A stranded Iranian woman cries as she embraces a colleague who just had his mouth sewed shut during a protest at the Greek-Macedonian border near the Greek village of Idomeni November 26, 2015. Countries along the Balkan route taken by hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking refuge in western Europe last week began filtering the flow, granting passage only to those fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
(Photo: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis)
A stranded Iranian woman cries as she embraces a colleague who just had his mouth sewed shut during a protest at the Greek-Macedonian border near the Greek village of Idomeni November 26, 2015. Countries along the Balkan route taken by hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking refuge in western Europe last week began filtering the flow, granting passage only to those fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iranian Christian converts must be granted the right to a fair evaluation of danger by European governments before they can be denied asylum and sent back to the Islamic Republic, the top human rights court in Europe ruled Wednesday.

In the case of F.G. v. Sweden, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Swedish government must give an Iranian Muslim man who converted to Christianity in Sweden a fair assessment of how his conversion will put him in danger back home before he can be sent back to Iran to face persecution.

As Iran ranks as the ninth worst country in the world for Christian persecution, apostasy from Islam is considered a criminal offense that is punishable by death.

Although the Swedish Migration Office rejected the convert’s request for asylum in 2010 without a fair assessment of danger, the European court is now requiring that the Swedish government go back and review the convert’s case while fully analyzing the consequences that his conversion would have in Iran.

The court additionally 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.

“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 astatement.

“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.”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Samuel Smith