Germany - Administrative Court Stuttgart, 14 March 2011, A 11 K 553/10

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
14-03-2011
Citation:
A 11 K 553/10
Additional Citation:
asyl.net/M18454
Court Name:
Administrative Court Stuttgart
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Headnote: 

Rights violations resulting from a forced marriage, including the use of physical and mental violence, constitute severe violations of basic human rights in terms of Art 9.1 (a) of the Qualification Directive.

The Iranian state is neither able nor willing to protect women against persecution by relatives in case of forced marriage.

Facts: 

The applicant, born in 1979, is an Iranian citizen. She applied for refugee status on 8 June 2009 on the grounds that her father had chosen a future husband for her, who was much older ( he was the same age as her father) and would not allow her to engage in further professional activity. She also didn’t want to marry this man because she did not love him. In order to overcome the applicant’s reluctance, her father used force. After her attempts to escape the marriage failed, she pretended to agree in order to end her father’s mistrust and surveillance. She bought a wedding dress and participated in the wedding preparations. At the same time, she planned and organised her escape from Iran. Her application was rejected in January 2010. The applicant appealed this decision.

Decision & Reasoning: 

A forced marriage affects both the woman’s right to self-determination and autonomous living, as well as her right to sexual self-determination. The dilemma resulting from a forced marriage surrenders the woman permanently, and without prospect of help, to the sexual impulses of the chosen husband, as his sole object of satisfaction or for the purpose of reproduction. Therefore, violations of rights connected with a forced marriage that include the use of physical and mental violence, involve a severe violation of basic human rights in terms of Art 9.1 (b) of the Qualification Directive.

Furthermore, a forced marriage contradicts Art 16.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides that marriage should be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

The persecution threatening the applicant before her departure from Iran was linked to the persecution ground of gender and membership of the particular social group “unmarried women from families whose traditional self-image also demands a forced marriage” (Art10 .1 (d) of the Qualification Directive).

The persecution threatening the applicant originated from non-State actors (Section 60 (1) sentence 4 (c) of the Residence Act). Single persons are also classified as non-State actors and therefore so is the applicant’s father.

The applicant, in case of return to Iran, would not be protected sufficiently against forced marriage. The Iranian state is neither able nor willing to protect women against persecution by relatives in case of forced marriage.

Outcome: 

The authorities were obliged to grant the applicant refugee status.