At its last meeting (Monday 2 June 2014), the Grand Chamber panel of five judges decided to refer the following case to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights: F.G. v. Sweden (no. 43611/11) concerning 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.
The applicant, F.G., is an Iranian national who was born in 1962 and is currently in Sweden. He applied for asylum and a residence permit in Sweden in November 2009, stating in particular that he had been active in the opposition movement, that he had been arrested on two occasions, and that he had converted to Christianity after coming to Sweden. He therefore risked persecution if returning to Iran. He also submitted a summons to the Revolutionary Court in Iran ordering him to present himself at Evin prison in Teheran in November 2009.
The Migration Board rejected his request in a decision eventually upheld by the migration courts in June 2011. The courts found in particular that the summons to the Revolutionary Court could not in itself substantiate a need for protection, and they doubted that F.G.’s political activities had been of such a nature and extent to lead to a risk of persecution. F.G.’s request to stay the enforcement of his expulsion to Iran was also rejected by the authorities in a decision eventually upheld in November 2011.
Relying on Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture and of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the Convention, F.G. complains that if expelled to Iran he would be at a real risk of being persecuted and punished or sentenced to death.
In its Chamber judgment of 16 January 2014 the Court held, by four votes to three, that F.G. had failed to substantiate that, if returned to Iran, he would face a real and concrete risk of being subjected to treatment contrary to Article 2 or 3 of the Convention. Consequently, it found that the implementation by Sweden of the expulsion order against the applicant would not give rise to a violation of these provisions. The Court also decided to continue to indicate to the Swedish Government, under Rule 39 (interim measures) of the Rules of Court, not to expel F.G. until the Court’s judgment became final or pending any further order.
On 2 June 2014 the case was referred to the Grand Chamber at the request of the applicant.
Press release ECHR 158 (2014) 03/06/2014