EGMR: Forthcoming Grand Chamber judgment concerning the refusal of asylum to an Iranian national converted to Christianity in Sweden

von Dr. Georg Neureither

The European Court of Human Rights will be delivering a Grand Chamber judgment in the case of F.G. v. Sweden (application no. 43611/11) at a public hearing on 23 March 2016 at 3 p.m. in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg. The case concerns the refusal of asylum to an Iranian national who alleges that, if expelled to Iran, he would be at a real risk of being persecuted and punished or sentenced to death.

Principal facts and complaints

The applicant, F.G., is an Iranian national who was born in 1962 and is currently in Sweden. F.G. arrived in Sweden in November 2009 claiming asylum. In his initial request for asylum he submitted that he had been politically active against the Iranian regime. He also mentioned that he had converted to Christianity after coming to Sweden but didn’t wish to rely on it as an asylum ground, either before the Migration Board or, on appeal, before the Migration Court, since he considered it a personal matter. Having been refused asylum on political grounds, F.G. requested a stay on his deportation order, relying on his conversion to Christianity as a new circumstance to be taken into consideration. His request was refused by the authorities in a decision which was eventually upheld in November 2011, on the ground that his conversion was not a “new circumstance” which could justify a re-examination of the proceedings. F.G ...

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