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10/13/08

Sweden Says Iranian Dissident Will Not be Tortured if Sent Back

Source: Iran Times

An Iranian woman's request for asylum for her and her two young daughters has been rejected by Sweden despite her contention she will be persecuted by the Iranian regime for her dissident activism.

"I'm afraid of going back to Iran. I have to stay. There is no other possibility," said Rana Karimzadeh, 46, who came to Sweden in 2005 after fleeing Iran in 2001.  Karimzadeh said she first sought asylum in the Netherlands, but her application was rejected.

"I fear for my life," she told Agence France Presse last Thursday.

A Swedish immigration court rejected Karimzadeh's request for asylum August 19 after judging that the Iranian activist was not at risk of persecution if she returned to Iran.

"We didn't think that her activism was intense enough for the Iranian regime to be interested in her or to hold anything against her," a court official, Ulrika Sandell, said.

But Karimzadeh said her activism on behalf of women and her criticism of the Islamic regime would make her a target if she were deported to Iran.  "I have three blogs in which I criticize the Iranian regime and I'm active in several associations that campaign for women's rights and against radical Islam," Karimzadeh said.

A support group has been set up in Sweden to push for her right to stay.  Last Wednesday, about 100 people demonstrated outside the Swedish parliament.

Karimzadeh has appealed the immigration court's ruling and hopes she and her two daughters, aged 10 and 15, will be able to stay.  A verdict is expected in late October.

In recent years, European courts have become increasingly skeptical of Iranian asylum claimants who regularly assert they will face persecution if deported.  Many European embassies have followed up on Iranians who have been deported and ed have found they are generally ignored by the Islamic Republic.         

About Iran Times: The Iran Times is an independent newspaper with no affiliation with any political party or faction The Iran Times corporation was founded in Washington D.C. in 1970, in accordance with U.S. federal and local regulations: www.iran-times.com

... Payvand News - 10/13/08 ... --



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