F.G. v. Sweden



In 2009, the Applicant, an Iranian national, in the case of F.G. v. Sweden, sought asylum in Sweden. He sought asylum in Sweden because of the online publications he made while in Iran criticizing the Iranian government. Furthermore, he had converted to Christianity once he had gotten to Sweden. As a result, the Applicant alleged that if he were to return to Iran he would be the subject of persecution based on political opinion and religious belief. To support his case, he put forth a summons he had received ordering him to the Revolutionary Court in Iran. After review, Sweden rejected the Applicant’s claims and ordered his return to Iran. Swedish authorities found that the Applicant’s claims and evidence were trivial and baseless. Once his claims were denied in Sweden, he brought his claims to the European Court of Human Rights. He claimed that if he were sent back to Iran by the Migration Court of Sweden he would be punished and/or sentenced to death. The Applicant based his claims on Articles 2 (right to life) and 3 (prohibition of degrading or inhuman treatment). The European Court of Human Rights, by a 4 to 3 vote, found that there was no violation of Articles 2 or 3. The Court, on the issue of political persecution, reasoned that the Applicant’s anti-government political activity was vague and tenuous. The Court also found that the Applicant had been making online publications for over two years until Iranian authorities started questioning him and that he was not summoned again to the Revolutionary Court for over four years. Finally, the Court found that none of his family members, who are still in Iran, had been persecuted. The Court, on the issue of religious persecution, found that there was no evidence showing that Iranian authorities knew or were even aware of the Applicant’s conversion to Christianity. As a result, the Court ultimately found that there was no violation of Articles 2 and 3 if the Applicant were to return to Iran. Following the Court’s decision, this case was referred to the Grand Chamber on June 2, 2014. The Court will be hearing this case on December 3. 2014.

How do you think the Court will decide? Do you think the Applicant here is just being paranoid? Does he know something that the Court doesn’t?

Source: ECHR

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