Finland - Helsinki Administrative Court, 25 Oct 2010, 10/1389/1

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
25-10-2010
Citation:
10/1389/1
Court Name:
Helsinki Administrative Court
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Headnote: 

Subsidiary protection was granted on grounds that the applicant, from Iran, could be at risk inhuman or degrading treatment. The applicant based his asylum claim on the political activities of his brother in his country of asylum, as well as his own participation in protests in Iran. The Court found that after having spent two years in Finland as an asylum seeker it was likely that the applicant would be of special interest to the Iranian authorities.

Facts: 

The applicant, from Iran, has a Kurdish background and is an atheist. The asylum application was based on the applicant’s and his brother’s political activity, and the consequent difficulties with the authorities in Iran. The applicant’s brother has been resident in his country of asylum for eight years. The applicant was arrested and interrogated by the Iranian authorities on numerous occasions regarding his brother’s activities in his country of asylum. He was also assaulted and tortured by the authorities. After participating in a protest which was violently suppressed by the authorities, the applicant’s home was searched. After leaving Iran, people visited the applicant’s home looking for him.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Court stated:

The applicant’s description of events was consistent with the country of origin information available from Iran. According to the country of origin information, ordinary citizens, and those who have previously been arrested for political activities, as well as their relatives, have faced arrest. The Iranian authorities have attempted to monitor the political activities of its citizens abroad, and those voicing critical opinions may have had their relatives arrested in Iran. The death penalty has been decreed for those who renounce the Islamic faith.

The applicant has not been in a position of leadership or any other public role. He has also not belonged to any political party. The applicant has come to the attention of the authorities precisely due to his brother’s political activities. His brother was granted refugee status due to his political activities.

If the applicant were returned to Iran, after having spent two years in Finland as an asylum seeker, it was likely that the Iranian authorities would consider him as having participated in his brother’s activities. The Court was of the opinion that if he was to be returned, he might be of special interest to the authorities and at risk of inhuman or degrading treatment.

Outcome: 

The Administrative Court overturned the Immigration Service’s decision and stated that the applicant should be granted a residence permit on the grounds of subsidiary protection.