Finland - Helsinki Administrative Court, 7 April 2011, 11/0425/3

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
07-04-2011
Citation:
11/0425/3
Court Name:
Helsinki Administrative Court
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Headnote: 

The Administrative Court did not consider credible the claim that the applicant’s conversion to Christianity had come to the attention of the Afghan authorities. The Court held that even if this information had reached the authorities, the applicant would not be at risk on return.

Facts: 

The applicant converted to Christianity in Greece. The applicant was originally from Kabul, which was considered to be a safe region of origin.

Decision & Reasoning: 

Based on the baptism and documentary evidence, the Administrative Court decided that there was no reason to doubt the genuineness of the applicant’s conviction or of his conversion. The applicant’s contention that information regarding his conversion had reached the authorities in his country of origin was only raised during the appeal in the Administrative Court. The Court held that there were considerable reasons to doubt the authenticity of the claim. The applicant had not presented in detail how the news of his conversion had supposedly reached Afghanistan. The Court also held that even if the news had reached his country of origin, there were no grounds to suspect that the applicant would be at particular risk on return. The applicant had not participated in missionary work or raised suspicion through his actions. The applicant had also not been to his country of origin since the mid-1990s, so it was unlikely that his return or his quiet practice of Christianity would raise the particular interest of the authorities. It is also unlikely that the applicant would be at risk of facing harsh sanctions under Islamic law.

Outcome: 

The Administrative Court rejected the appeal. The applicant was not given a residence permit based on international protection, nor on other grounds.

Subsequent Proceedings : 

An appeal is pending before the Supreme Administrative Court, which has issued interim measures.