• Sweden edition
 

Activists fight to prevent Iranian feminist's deportation

Published: 17 Sep 2008 14:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Sep 2008 14:18 GMT+02:00

Rana Karimzadeh has lived in Sweden since 2005 with her two daughters and chairs the Stockholm section of a support organization for Iranian refugees in Sweden and operates two blogs critical of Islam.

The content on Karimzadeh's blogs is considered controversial by many in Sweden.

She has slammed plans for imam education and Islamic independent schools (friskolor) in Sweden, arguing instead that imams and Islamic movements ought to be banned from public sector activities.

Karimzadeh also sits in the central committee in the Worker-Communist Party of Iran – Hekmatist, an exiled political party opposed to the current regime in Iran.

“I’m worried about going back to Iran. I’m expecting to be punished for my opinions and my political activity,” she told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

“In Iran people are sentenced to prison simply for belonging to the party.”

While she’s managed to become an important and outspoken advocate for women’s rights and the rights of Iranian refugees in Sweden, Karimzadeh still lacks permanent residency in Sweden.

Her quest for permission to stay in Sweden received a major blow recently when the Migration Court affirmed an earlier decision by the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) not to grant her Swedish residency.

In its ruling, the court cast doubt on Karimzadeh’s assertion that her political activities put her at risk for reprisals from the Iranian authorities.

“The Migration Court judges, however, that the activity has not been of such a scope or undertaken on a level that is sufficient in and of itself to serve as grounds for the assumption that the authorities in Iran have an interest in Rana Karimzadeh,” wrote the court in its ruling.

The decision means that Karimzadeh and her two daughters must return to Iran, something that he friends and supports are not yet willing to accept.

“The court’s ruling is completely wrong. It’s extremely dangerous for Rana Karimzadeh to return to Iran. It’s saddening that the Migration Court, despite clear evidence about Karimzadeh’s activitie, has chosen to accept the Migration Board’s stance,” said Karimzadeh supporter Anders Finström in a statement.

Finström took up Karimzadeh’s cause in part because his own wife was deported from Sweden to Azerbaijan last year.

“I want to do what I can to stop more people’s wives from being deported,” he told The Local.

He believes the ruling conflict with Sweden’s legislation which prohibits the returning people to countries where they risk the death penalty, bodily harm, torture, or other inhumane treatment.

Karimzadeh can still appeal the case to a Migration Court of Appeal, but Finström admits the chances for a reversal are slim. However, he remains hopeful that, in the end, Swedish authorities will change their stance toward Karimzadeh’s claims that she could be harmed upon her return to Iran.

He pointed to a recent jailing of Iranian feminist author and Olof Palme prize recipient Parvane Ardalan as evidence that the situation for women’s rights activists in Iran is dire.

“They won’t dare send her back to Iran,” he said.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
National
Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers
Workers at the Saab plant in Trollhättan. Photo: TT

Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers

Swedish car maker Saab has announced it has axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce. READ  

International
Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale
A Danish site is selling the works that the Swedish state wants destroyed. Screenshot: www.entartetekunst.dk

Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale

Work by controversial jailed Swedish artist Dan Park is on sale online and could reach a gallery in Copenhagen, despite a previous exhibition being pulled. READ  

Society
Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old
Pensioners in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old

Sweden has dropped to second place in an annual index measuring the quality of life of elderly people in 96 countries around the world. READ  

National
Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche
Andreas Fransson, left. Photo: Markus Alatalo

Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche

UPDATED: The bodies of two of the world's top skiers, Sweden's Andreas Fransson and JP Auclair from Canada, were found on Tuesday after they were reported missing in an avalanche in the Andes. READ  

Politics
Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs

UPDATED: The Social Democrats and the Greens have agreed to raise unemployment payments and promised to create more jobs in the construction industry, The Local has learned. READ  

National
Ikea recalls elk pasta
Two types of pasta are affected. Photo: IKEA

Ikea recalls elk pasta

Ikea has pulled two different types of elk-shaped pasta from its stores in Sweden. READ  

Presented by Regus
How to get your own great office in Stockholm
A woman using a Regus workspace. Photo: Regus

How to get your own great office in Stockholm

Stockholm's business climate is hotter than ever, which leaves start-ups and business travellers hunting high and low for flexible office space. The solution is easier than they think. READ  

National
King Carl XVI Gustaf opens parliament
King Carl XVI Gustaf arriving on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: TT

King Carl XVI Gustaf opens parliament

BREAKING: Sweden's post-election parliament is meeting for the first time following a fanfare opening from King Carl XVI Gustaf. READ  

Opinion
Should Sweden's school age be raised?
A high school in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Should Sweden's school age be raised?

After the new coalition announced plans to extend Sweden's compulsory schooling until the age of 18, The Local asked two Swedes at high school if they agreed with the idea. READ  

Brand stories
JohannaN: beautiful jewellery with a story

JohannaN: beautiful jewellery with a story

Just 27 and already living off of her own designs, some may consider Johanna Nilsson lucky. But she doesn't believe in luck. She's the founder of a jewellery line blending sustainability, subtle style, and Scandinavian simplicity - and it's taking the world by storm. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos
Politics
New coalition agrees on defence and migration
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Botkyrka
Education
New government to make school compulsory to 18
Politics
Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot
Blog updates

28 September

Spoiled Doyle (Blogweiser) »

"What you gotta watch out for in Sweden is the good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_EzUe6xpI In Sweden, it’s the good things you have to watch out for. Video on @TheLocalSweden http://t.co/rAb8eGFdTD pic.twitter.com/w37YYwMXy1 — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 29, 2014 " READ »

 

26 September

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Autumn swept into Sweden at the start of this week with snow in the north of the country and flooding in the south. As well as a change in the weather, Sweden’s change in political direction became clearer, with Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven formally announcing his party would work with the Greens as..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish scientists sneak Bob Dylan lyrics into articles
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
National
When Italian style meets Swedish simplicity
Lifestyle
Review: Sweden's first alcohol-free nightclub
Gallery
In Pictures: The MS Estonia disaster
Lifestyle
Ten things expat women notice in Sweden
Politics
What's next on Sweden's political stage?
Gallery
Sweden's 2014 election: Most memorable moments
Society
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 24th
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Gallery
In Pictures: Fredrik Reinfeldt through the years.
Society
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

852
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN