ECtHR - Grand Chamber hearing in F.G. v. Sweden (application no. 43611/11), 3 December 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Grand Chamber has heard the submissions in F.G. v Sweden which relate to an Iranian national’s asylum claim on grounds of political opinion and religious belief. The applicant submitted that if expelled to Iran he would be at a risk of being punished or sentenced to death, relying on Articles 2 (right to life) and 3 (prohibition of degrading or inhuman treatment) of the ECHR.

In its Chamber judgment the majority found no risk of a violation of Articles 2 or 3.  Specifically, on religious persecution, the majority relied on the fact that the applicant ‘has kept his faith a private matter’, adding that, in any event, ‘there is nothing to indicate that the Iranian authorities are aware of his conversion’ [41]. However, the dissenting judges reiterated the Court of Justice of the EU’s case Bundesrepublik Deutschland v. Y (C-71/11) and Z (C-99/11) and highlighted that the majority erroneously relied on the ‘private’ nature of the applicant’s Christianity to imply that the applicant could avoid persecution by concealing his religious conversion.

The case was referred to the Grand Chamber in June 2014. The AIRE Centre, ECRE and the ICJ intervened in this case. The Grand Chamber’s ruling will be made at a later stage.

5 December 2014                                      

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.     

Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Political Opinion