To the Norwegian Migration Authorities:
It has come to our attention that the Norwegian government has deported a number of Iranian political asylum-seekers in the past few days, and there is intent to deport more Iranians to the hands of the Islamic Republic in coming days. Among those to be deported includes a convert to Christianity.
The Norwegian government is deporting political asylum seekers to Iran at a time when executions are happening on a near-daily basis, sometimes several a day. The Norwegian government intends to return Iranians who have converted to Christianity to a country that intends to execute Christian convert Yousef Nadarkhani solely due to his religious conversion, and despite the fact that there is no law against apostasy in the Islamic Republic’s penal code!
The Norwegian government is well-aware of the fact that the Islamic Republic considers all Iranian political asylum-seekers to be criminals, deeming their quest for asylum as a form of propagation against the regime. The Islamic Republic has on several occasions declared and applied its intent to prosecute returned political asylum-seekers, on the basis of Article 7 of the Islamic Republic’s Penal Code. Rahim Rostami, a teenaged Kurdish asylum-seeker returned to Iran by Norway and immediately imprisoned under torture is one such example – and a clear indictment of the Norwegian government’s failed approach to refugee status determination.
It is illegal under international law for any country including Norway to deport a person who has a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country. It is therefore undeniably illegal under international law for the Norwegian government to participate in the crime of deporting political asylum-seekers to Iran, where they are at high risk of being detained, tortured, and in some cases executed if returned to Iran.
Norway must uphold international principles, reconsider its position and set appropriate precedent by halting any deportations of political asylum-seekers to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and implementing appropriate protections. The ongoing crisis in Iran demands that Iranian asylum seekers.
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