Basij case

Concerning Ka.H. vs. Denmark for violation of article 2, 6 and/or 7, 13, 14 and 26 of CCPR.

The following case has been decided. It was found on the 16th of July by the Committee that in the absence of pertinent information that the author’s conversion is known to the Iranian authorities, it is not in a position to find that the deportation would place the author at a real risk in violation of articles 6 or 7. See the attached PDF for the full decision or read on to get a description of the case.

The author fears persecution because he was an active member of the Basij, between 2004-2007. He worked as a guard and collected information on people who crossed the specific control areas. After the presidential election in 2009, he was pressured to collect information about individuals who participated in a particular demonstration. He was also ordered to fabricate false information about people who were detained at the base. Due to events in 2009, he tried to scale down his work for the Basij.

In early 2012 the author was approached by his superiors, who asked him to come to the base for the execution of administrative tasks. The author tried to avoid the task by referring to his regular work. However, in July 2012, when the author was at work, his home was visited by a Basij member who told the author’s wife that the author must meet him at the base. The author then fled from Iran to Turkey on 8 July 2012. From Istanbul, Turkey, he took a flight to Denmark on 1 September 2012. During his stay in Denmark as an asylum seeker, he furthermore converted from being a Muslim to being a Christian. He officially converted on 8 April 2013, when he was Baptised however, his interest for Christianity started before that.

At the Board hearing in March 2014 the author’s original asylum motive was rejected, and a majority of the five Board members did not find his Conversion to be “real” and thus rejected the risk of persecution on return. They primarily argued that since his interest started after he had the first negative decision from the Danish Immigration Service, it was not likely that he Converted because he had a new faith. At the Board hearing however the author explained that he talked to a woman, Z in December 2012 when he was in a great crises. At the same Board meeting “Z” was allowed as a witness and she stated under oath that their first conversation about Christianity took place in December 2012.

Nevertheless a majority of board members rejected her statement as well as the authors statement and concluded that his Baptism in April 2013 was more likely a matter of getting asylum rather than having found a new faith. A minority of Board members did not agree and they wanted to grant him asylum.    

In any other situation under Danish law such a decision would then be subjected to review under appeal to a higher body/Court. In the case of asylum seekers this is however not allowed (as already mentioned above) and even though the author has provided several written statements from priests testifying about his new faith, and a witness testifying his faith, and that this was an interest he took in December 2012.
Consequently, his fear of persecution because he left the Muslim faith, has only been assessed by one “legal body”.under Danish law – the so-called “Refugees Appeals Board”. But if this was truly an Appeal Board, the majority members should have stayed the decision and asked the Danish Immigration Service take this new asylum motive under consideration as the first instance. Then if the Immigration Service had rejected his new asylum motive, this could have been appealed to the Refugee Board – that would then have been able to be called; “Refugee Appeals Board”. Thus a complaint was sent to CCPR.

30. August 2019

CCPR 2423/2014
  • Decision: 16. July 2018
  • Comm: Human Rights