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Strasbourg rules in favour of Iranian refugee

Thousands of Iranians protested against the local opposition in 2009 Keystone

The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Switzerland not to send an Iranian asylum seeker back to Iran, where it says he could expect torture and other inhumane treatment. The decision overrules that of the Federal Administrative Court.

The 37-year-old man had participated in protests against the regime in Tehran between 2009 and 2011. After receiving a court summons there, he went into hiding and fled to Switzerland, where he applied for asylum in June 2011.

His application was refused, as was his appeal to the Federal Administrative Court, which said he had given contradictory answers when requesting asylum. The man had been questioned upon arrival and again some two years later.

The Swiss court also doubted the authenticity of his Iranian court summons, saying that such documents were easily forged.

In Strasbourg on Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights acknowledged that there had been some inconsistencies in the man’s statements, but said that these were not inexplicable. It ruled that by deporting the man – who would face seven years in prison and 70 lashes with a whip in Iran – Switzerland would violate the Convention on Human Rights.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR