018-750 52 11
018-750 52 11

Conversion case subject to examination from the European Court

SCANDINAVIAN HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS represent Mohammad * from Afghanistan, who applied for asylum in Sweden because of family circumstances. During his stay in Sweden, he came in contact with Christians and eventually converted to Christianity. Mohammad is baptized and shows every sign of being a true Christian. Swedish authorities have however made the assessment that his conviction is not genuine. The decision to deport Mohammad has been appealed to domestic courts and all domestic remedies have been exhausted.

THE SWEDISH MIGRATION Board has not made any assessment of how genuine Mohammad's conviction is since before October 2013, shortly after the conversion. After this point only new circumstances are considered by the authorities. Considering the long period of time that has lapsed without reevaluation this can be equated to not getting any consideration at all of a conversion, which is in contravention of the European Court of Human Rights (see eg F. G. against Sweden 43611/11, G.C.., March 23, 2016). It has e.g. not been a fact of consideration that Muhammad has lived as a Christian for four years and the assessment of his conviction has in several ways been arbitrary. Muhammad’s conversion is definitely perceived as genuine by the compatriots who exposed him to persecution in Sweden.

SWEDISH AUTHORITIES HAVE decided to expel Mohammed to Afghanistan, where he fears for his life and faces the death penalty, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment. In Afghanistan, according to Sharia, a convert who is revealed has three days to take back the conversion and profess Islam. This means that a convert who returns to Afghanistan can not practice his/her faith openly without being punished. A deportation would constitute a violation of Article 2 and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR).

SCANDINAVIAN HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS made a so-called Rule 39 notification to the European Court, which decided to stay the deportation of Mohammed. The deportation is now stayed until further notice. The Swedish government and Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers have since May 2016 made written submissions to the European Court in the case.