By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.
While it might seem to many a prima facie case where a dissident, Kurdish Journalist will risk their safety if deported to a country known for its ghastly mistreatment of members of the press, a Swedish Migration Court ruled that Journalist Kamran Mirzaian will be instead deported to Iran, citing no proof that he will suffer threats to himself or his freedom.
Iran is an internationally recognized pariah with regard to its oppression of journalists and is ranked the 11th worst of 180 countries according to Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index. Journalists subject facing capital crimes in Iran include Briton Salman Rushdie, the seven-year imprisonment of an economics journalist critical of the government’s financial policies, and horrific murders of journalists arrested for “crimes” involving ordinary journalism
In a three month period from November, 1998 and February 1999, Iran witnessed the killing of five journalists. According to Association of Progressive Communications, “secular opposition leader Dariush Foruhar and his wife, Parvaneh, were stabbed to death in their Tehran apartment. Within weeks, three leading journalists-writers outspoken in their demands for greater freedom of expression in Iran – Majid Sharif, Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Pouyandeh – were also found murdered.” The government claimed that the murders were committed by “rogue elements” within the security forces and responded with nothing more than show trials and secret proceedings.
In 2003, Photo Journalist Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian dual citizen, was tortured, raped and murdered while under arrest following her photography work at demonstration in Tehran.
2008 saw the execution of Yaghoub Mehrnahad under the auspices of “Supporting Terrorism” in reporting dissident groups.
The nation is widely known to execute persons accused simply of “insulting the prophet” or for modesty crimes.
Mr. Mirzaian arrived in Sweden in 2014 after having worked for several years in Iran. He has been politically active with Free Life Party of Kurdistan. Kurds are an oppressed ethnic minority in Iran and have for decades suffered reprisals and accusations of sedition and subversion.
““I want to be able to write articles and and do my work in my own language, but in Iran that would not be possible, because as a Kurd I don’t have any rights.” says Kamran Mirzaian.
Mirizain volunteers for NewrozTV, a Kurdish Language network channel featuring various life and cultural topics and is broadcast throughout the world. It is, though, banned in Iran.
The Swedish Migration Court did not consider factors such as that Mirizain could confirm his identity and dismisses his voluntary work at NewrozTV and his political advocacy have been extensive enough to attract the attention and ire of Iranian Authorities. As a result, the court does not find that an imminent need for protection and asylum exists. Despite Mirizain’s appeal of the lower court order, wherein he submitted additional documentations proving his political activities in Iran and elsewhere, he was informed yesterday that the Migration Court would not reopen his case despite new evidence.
“I came here with the idea and the hope that Sweden is a democratic country that stands up for people fleeing from dictatorship and oppression. When I heard about deportation, every hope that I had, dropped that moment. It makes me very disappointed and sad.
I don’t understand why the Migration Court makes such unfair decisions when they have all the evidences in front of them. I have shown what situation I live in, and still they decided to deport me to Iran, the regime where I awaiting a death sentence.
I can not return. A few weeks ago 20 of my comrades hanged by Iranian regime. I have received many threats, both via the Internet and telephone that I will be tortured if I will return to Iran again.
There seems to be a duality between Mr. Mirzain’s case and the plight of those Syrian Refugees who received in large part blanked offers of residency to escape the unrest in their home country. Reportedly, Sweden took in the most refugees per capita than any other European nation. But in his case, Mr. Mirzain finds that the Swedish government cannot accept just one additional person who already has established ties and assimilation within their nation.
One has to wonder what is motivating the court to deny asylum.
An Online Petition formed to bring attention to Mr. Mirzain’s fate asks for reconsideration by the Swedish government.
By Darren Smith
Source: e-Kurd News
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