25 March 2016

On 23 March 2016, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Sweden, in the case of F.G. v. Sweden. F.G, an Iranian national, claimed that if he were deported to Iran, he would be at risk of ill-treatment or the death penalty on account of his political opposition to the regime, and his conversion from Islam to Christianity. This would violate his right to life and the prohibition on torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, protected in Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Court found that, although the applicant did not initially raise his conversion as a ground for asylum, once the Swedish authorities were aware of this matter, they had an obligation to assess the risk arising from it and had failed to do so. They could not deport him to Iran without a fresh and up to date assessment of the consequences of his conversion.

ECRE submitted joint written observations in this case, with the AIRE Centre and the International Committee of Jurists.

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This article will appear in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 25 March 2016. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.