Euro court warns Sweden over Iran deportation

The European Court of Human Rights has told Sweden that it will breach its humanitarian obligations if it deports an Iranian asylum seeker, saying his claims of past torture appeared to be true.

The man, identified as R.C., filed a request for asylum two years after arriving in Sweden in 2003.

But Swedish authorities doubted his claims of torture and his escape from a packed revolutionary court in Iran, saying such tribunals were not open to the public. They also decided to turn down his asylum request.

A case was then filed at the European rights court in 2007 and declared admissible a year later. The tribunal also ordered Sweden to stay his deportation until further notice.

The judges on Tuesday ruled that the man’s “basic story had been consistent

throughout the proceedings,” and that despite some “uncertain aspects … its

overall credibility had not been undermined.”

The man, who said he took part in an anti-government protest in 2001 after which he was arrested, tortured and detained for almost two years before he managed to escape, risked renewed torture if he was deported, the court ruled.

“The Court also accepted the general conclusions of the medical report that the marks of injuries found on R.C.’s body could have originated from torture,” a statement said.

The judges also noted that “several organisations reporting on the situation in Iran noted an increase in human rights violations in Iran after the 2009 elections, including excessive police force, arbitrary arrests, killings, ill-treatment of detainees and the use of torture to obtain confessions.”

They said the man would likely be “detained and ill-treated” if he was sent back.

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