Stolen wedding photographs

Concerning X (represented by counsel, Helge Norrug) vs Denmark for violation of articles 7,18 and 26 of CCPR.

The author used to live in Afghanistan, with his parents, brother and sister. He worked as a photographer. The author claims that he was asked by a powerful rich man, Mr. H.A.K., to record his daughter’s wedding and that shortly after the wedding, the video was stolen by unknown people. When Mr. H.A.K became aware of it, he and other men abducted the author and his sister and kept them in a cellar. The author then moved to Tehran and from there to Greece. After receiving death threats by telephone from an unknown person, the author fled to Denmark and applied for asylum due to fear of persecution. After his application, the author was introduced to Christianity by an Iranian man.

The Danish authorities rejected the author’s application for asylum. However, at this point, the author started to participate in Farsi-speaking Christian groups, at Saint Lukeʼs Church, where he was then baptized. Thus a request to reopen the case on grounds of his conversion to Christianity was sent to the Danish authorities. The case was reopened but rejected again as the Danish Refugee Board did not find that the author’s alleged conversion to Christianity was genuine, lasting and firm, and that he would live and practice this religion upon his return to Afghanistan. Moreover, Danish Refugee Boar found that his limited Christian activities in the State party could not be known by the Afghan authorities. Thus a complaint was sent to CCPR.

The Committee observes that the author’s claims mainly rely on his mere membership of a particular Christian church and that he has failed to identify any irregularity in the decision-making process, or to explain why the decision of the Board is manifestly arbitrary, for instance, owing to its failure to take properly into account a relevant risk factor. Thus the committee declared the communication to be inadmissible.

24. March 2020

CCPR 2515/2014
  • Decision: 11. May 2015
  • Comm: Human Rights