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.’s expulsion was, however, then stayed on the basis of an interim measure granted in October 2011 by the European Court of Human Rights under Rule 39 of its Rules of Court, which indicated to the Swedish Government that the applicant should not be expelled to Iran whilst the Court was considering his case.
Relying on Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture and of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, F.G. complains that if expelled to Iran he would be at a real risk of being persecuted and punished or sentenced to death.
The application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on 12 July 2011. 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 16 April 2014 the applicant requested that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber under Article 43 (referral to the Grand Chamber) and on 2 June 2014 the panel of the Grand Chamber accepted that request. A Grand Chamber hearing on the case was held in public in Strasbourg on 3 December 2014.
Press release ECHR 094 (2016) 16/03/2016