View Adopted: 2021.07.22
The author is an Iranian national who fled his country after converting to christianity because his mother and girlfriend had been arrested following his conversion, and he had received threats from officials including his girlfriend’s husband. He arrived to Denmark and applied for asylum. His application was based on the claim that he converted to christianity and was involved with a married woman. The application was rejected because his conversion was not sufficiently substantiated although he had subsequently publicly informed his surroundings that he became christian, mainly through Facebook, had been baptised in Denmark, attended church services, has several tattoos of Christian iconography and has been photographed at anti-regime protests.
The author claims a violation of articles 6 and 7 of the ICCPR. He fears for his life because apostasy and adultery carry the death penalty under Sharia Law enforceable in Iran. He also fears he will be questioned by Iranian authorities upon his arrival and persecuted for apostasy, which could amount to torture and inhumane treatment
The Committee considers that the author has sufficiently substantiated his claim and will proceed to consider the issues raised under articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant.
The Committee considers that the State Party’s reasoning for the refusal to hear the testimony was sufficient to discharge its procedural obligations under the Covenant and will therefore not interfere with the State party’s findings in that regard. Regardless however, State parties have an obligation to assess whether the behaviour and activities of the author prior to his arrival could have a serious consequence if he is returned to Iran. In that regard, the Committee notes that the author has provided sufficient information to substantiate the contention that he had openly converted to Christianity and partook in anti-regime protests and activities. The committee notes that no further assessment was undertaken by the State party except to confirm whether it appeared from his Facebook posts that he was Christian. The Committee also notes that the State party has not carried out an assessment of the risk to the author’s life with regards to the fact that he left the country unlawfully and has not performed mandatory military service. The Committee therefore finds that the State party has failed to demonstrate that the authorities have conducted an individualised assessment of the author’s case to determine whether there is a real risk of irreparable harm. It concludes that the author’s removal to Iran would constitute a violation of articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant.
The State party is under an obligation to proceed to: a review of the author’s case taking into account the State party’s obligations under the Covenant and the Committee’s present Views. The State party is also requested to refrain from expelling the author until his request for asylum is properly considered.
January 22, 2022