Human Rights, Solidarity with Refugees

URGENT: Sweden to Imminently Deport Christian Asylum-Seeker Facing Lashes & Prison on Apostasy Charges to Iran: Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani [INCLUDES LETTER-WRITING ACTION]



The Swedish government once again intends to illegally deport an Iranian human rights activist and convert to Christianity (punishable by death in Iran) back into the hands of the Islamic Republic. This post provides the story and background documents for Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani and his family, and we have drafted an open letter to Sweden’s Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy protesting this illegal and lethal deportation to Iran. Please contribute by urgently participating in the letter-writing action, below.

Mohammadreza and his family – his wife and two young daughters – are 4 of Swedish Migration Minister Tobias Billström’s latest victims.

Mohammadreza and his family arrived in Sweden in September 2008 and sought political asylum. The reason this family fled Iran was like that of many others who in great numbers convert from Islam to some other religion. Mohammad Reza believes that he owes the life of his daughter to a miracle, and that Jesus played a role in this. In December 2007, he and his wife and daughter converted from Islam to Christianity in secret in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, in the Russian Protestant Church.

Mohammad Reza’s conversion remained a secret for a very short time, until he started advocating for his new belief. His problems, including harassment by the workplace security “Harasat” authority, started soon after. Mohammad Reza and his family were forced to seek safety in a place where no one knew about their conversion. In Tehran, they were informed that he was tried in his absence, found guilty of apostasy and propagating against Islam, and sentenced to 10 years in prison and 75 lashes. The Islamic Republic’s official documentation of these charges against Mohammad Reza, and his sentencing, appear below.

1-Sentence with list of charges (dadnameh): Ministry of Justice of Islamic Republic of Iran
Case number: 768102
Sentence number: 400688
Date of issue: Persian date: 7 Mehr 1389 (Gregorian date: 29 September 2010)
Accused: Mr. Mohammad Reza Hamedian Esfahani
Residing at: Isfahan, Enghelab Square, Maddy St. Classic Building #1
Lawyer: Mr. Ali Ganji
Sentence: Apostasy and Propaganda against the Religion of Islam
The court has reviewed the content of the file and declares the end of investigation and examination and proceeds to issue the decision.
Decision of the court:
According to the indictment letter of revolutionary attorney general’s office of the 5th District dated 2 Shahrivar 1388 (Gregorian date 24 August 2009) Mr. Mohammad Reza Hamedian Isfahani, son of Mahmoud, is sentenced to propaganda and spreading of lies and opinions against the sharia of the Islam and based on the witnesses report, he is accused of apostasy from Islam and the Court recognizes him as an apostate and Mohareb (one who wars with God). According to Islamic penal codes, on the apostasy charge he is sentenced to 10 years in prison, and on the propaganda against Islam charge he is condemned to endure 75 lashes.
The sentence issued in absence can be appealed within 10 days after notification in this court and other instances can be appealed within 20 days in the revolutionary appeal courts of Tehran.
Signed by:
Javid Nia
Magistrate of branch 1023 of General and Revolutionary Court of 5th district of Tehran
Translation from Farsi to English:
PR for Personal Rights
Mission Free Iran

2- Summons for Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani to appear in the court (ehzahrieh).
Case number: 768102
Persian date: 1 Shahrivar 1389 (Gregorian date: 23 August 2010)
Sent to address of Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani in Maydan Vanak
According to the case reference number, if you do not attend, the court will proceed and pass judgment and pass sentence in your absence.

3- Subpoena or decree of warning for Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani to appear in court (ekhtarieh).
Issued: Persian date 21 Khordad 1389 (Gregorian date: 11 June 2010)
Case number: 768102
Warning to Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani (father: Mahmoud) that he must present to the branch court for the above-referenced case on Persian date 11 Tir 1389 (Gregorian date: 2 July 2010).

In light of the grave consequences that await Mohammadreza and his family if he should be deported – both due to the pending “apostasy” sentence, a quintessential “crime” ofconscience, and due to the fact that Mohammadreza has participated in numerous public demonstrations against the Islamic Republic regime – we urge everyone to urgently submit a letter to the Swedish Migration Office in protest of Mohammadreza’s deportation.

A sample letter is provided below. Please act quickly as there are only 2 working days left until Mohammadreza’s deportation date of Tuesday 14 February 2012.


Please urgently copy/paste this or your own version & add your own signature to the webforms for contacting Tobias Billström, Swedish Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy and his Press Secretary Linda Norberg.

Open Letter to Tobias Billström, Swedish Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy, Regarding the Illegal Refoulement of Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani (case #11-084450/11)

To Tobias Billström, Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy, Sweden:

I am writing to you with regard to the urgent case of Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani, an Iranian asylum-seeker who has sought refuge in Sweden from persecution by the Islamic Republic of Iran (case no. 11-084450/11). Mr. Esfahani is a baptized convert to Christianity; as a result, he has been convicted of “apostasy” and “war against Islam,” and sentenced to 10 years in prison and 75 lashes for his religious beliefs. Documents to this effect may be viewed here:

Mr. Esfahani has also been very publicly active in protests against the Islamic Republic regime. Your own office’s Director for Legal Affairs at the Swedish Migration Board has concluded that “the Iranian regime has both a strong desire and the ability to monitor its citizens in Sweden.” Mr. Esfahani’s front-line presence in demonstrations, images of which are easily available both in the heavily monitored social media as well as in Swedish news media, ensure that the Islamic Republic is aware of Mr. Esfahani’s activities, which are considered crimes under the dictatorial regime. A sampling of Mr. Esfahani’s political activism against the Islamic Republic regime in Iran can be reviewed here: -

Thus it is well-established that, in addition to documents from the Islamic regime demonstrating its intent to severely punish Mr. Esfahani for converting to Christianity, Mr. Esfahani has additional well-founded fears of persecution by this regime on the basis of his honorable political activism in support of human rights and against the barbaric regime in Iran.

Mr. Esfahani meets all criteria for formal recognition as a refugee; it is thus illegal to refoule him. Article 33 (1) of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which states that: “No Contracting State shall expel or return (‘refouler’) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” Sweden, as a signatory to the UN Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, is required under this convention, and consequently under jus cogens international law, to comply with the inalienable rights of refugees to asylum, protection and no forced return to their country of origin.

We therefore demand an immediate halt to the illegal refoulement of Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani.

Sweden’s Record of Violation of Refugee Rights

On September 3, 2010, in the case of R. c. v. Sweden (application no. 41827/07), the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg found that deporting an Iranian dissident to Iran would be a violation by the Swedish authorities of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Yet despite this finding, the Swedish government continues to deport Iranian activists like Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani and others, who are clearly and undeniably at risk not only of detention and torture by the Islamic Republic of Iran, but at unquestionable risk of execution.

We demand an urgent, immediate halt to Sweden’s intended illegal refoulement of Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani, who will certainly face torture and is at clear risk for execution if returned to the Islamic Republic. Given the the Migration Office’s blatant, repeated violations of refugee rights that risk the lives of Iranian and other asylum-seekers, we demand that Sweden must not only immediately halt the illegal deportation of Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani, but must immediately cease all deportations to Iran.

[Your Name]


26 thoughts on “URGENT: Sweden to Imminently Deport Christian Asylum-Seeker Facing Lashes & Prison on Apostasy Charges to Iran: Mohammadreza Hamedian Esfahani [INCLUDES LETTER-WRITING ACTION]

  1. We hold the evidence that people deported from Norway to Iran have been detained and put into Evin Prison known for for torture and hanging prisoners in the courtyard which happens regularly. It also seems that everyone who gets deported back and who have sought asylum in another country is seen as critics of the country’s authorities. They therefore automatically detained and at risk of short or long prison terms. Torture is common in Iranian prisons. Pls read some stories from Norway at: “Fengslet da de kom hjem” I urge the Swedish authorities not to do the same mistakes as Norway did. Best regards Mona Bentzen, Norwat

    Posted by monabentzen | February 10, 2012, 3:45 am
  2. be omide azadi hame doostan,

    Posted by shahab.mehdinezhad sari | February 10, 2012, 5:10 am
  3. azadi,azadi,azadi.

    Posted by shahab.mehdinezhad sari | February 10, 2012, 5:10 am
  4. mobarezh, paydari ta pirozi. be omid azadi payandeh bashid

    Posted by hossein jafar ali jasbi | February 10, 2012, 7:46 am
  5. gereftane eghamat haghe 1 panahande mibashad,…..

    Posted by REZA pamahi | February 10, 2012, 1:56 pm
  6. Bpgzarad in roozgare talkhtar az zahr
    bare degar roozgar chon shekar ayad
    be omide pirouzi

    Posted by Shokooh _shafie | February 10, 2012, 2:30 pm
  7. chera doroogh minivisi ,vaghti dadgah raay mide madeye marbootaro minivise,inke to baraye khodet joor kardi noskheye hakim bashiye!!!mikhay panahandeh beshi gigool!! ya parvandeye dige hesabi joor kon!!!hamatoono sare kar baziya dige ghadimi shodeh!

    Posted by gggg | February 10, 2012, 6:05 pm
  8. maxime azizam mesle petros azad mishi ,negaranihato be khoda bespar

    Posted by zoya | February 10, 2012, 6:27 pm
  9. With recent event Youcef Nadarkhani, a 32-year, was arrested in October 2009 and later sentenced to death for converting to Christianity buy Islamic Regime in Iran I am very surprised Swedish governments with long standing for human right is going to deport this gentleman knowing what will happen to anyone who has converted to any religion.

    Posted by Mardavij | February 10, 2012, 8:57 pm
  10. Ma hame ba ham hastim
    Payande Iran.

    Posted by Shokooh Shafie | February 11, 2012, 7:19 am
  11. V………..

    Posted by Roya piraye | February 12, 2012, 5:32 pm
  12. freedom Mohammadreza know.

    Posted by Reza | February 20, 2012, 12:06 pm
  13. Braye azadi Maxim

    Posted by Shokooh _shafie | February 20, 2012, 12:17 pm
  14. Doostan dorooghe in bargeha maaloome kamelan,nahiye dar iran yani dadsara,dar hali ke dadgahaye keyfariye tehran dar mojtaamahaye ghazayi mostaghar hastan,in shobe dar in nahiye mostaghar nist,ba moraajee be sithaye ghoveye ghazaiyeye iran,mahale daghighe in dadgah maloom mishe mesle saithaye marboot be vekalat dar iran,aziz joon jedan to ki hasty??asle ghaziyaro begoo shomareha va tarikh e ehzarha va sodoore raay tavajoh konid.ta in forsat talabha natoonan khodeshoono ja bezanan.baraye edareye mohajerat e mail bezanim.

    Posted by gggg | February 29, 2012, 1:48 pm
  15. je pense c`est pas papier origine parce que les parques en Iran se sont situes ensemble qu`on dit nahiyeh,et les tribunaux sont ensemble ils ne sont pas dans le même bâtiment avec les parquet . après attention aux dates et autre chose ,je ne sais pas vraiment ce qui???

    Posted by gggg | February 29, 2012, 2:00 pm
  16. free free free Mohammadreza Hamedian nu nu nu.

    Posted by Reza | March 14, 2012, 4:54 pm
  17. never diport Mohammadreza to Iran.

    Posted by Bahareh | March 14, 2012, 4:55 pm
  18. In any case this Iranian asylum seeker should be recognize as refugee. Reasons are clear: 1- his convert 2- his sur – place activities.
    Best regards,

    Posted by M. john | March 16, 2012, 9:14 am


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