Saturday, February 29, 2020

British Tribunal Denies Asylum To Disingenuous Iranian Convert To Christianity

Britain's appellate court that reviews decisions on visa and asylum applications and the right to enter or stay in the UK-- the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber-- has recently issued an interesting decision on how to treat a citizen of Iran who disingenuously converts from Islam to Christianity in Britain in order to create a basis for an asylum claim. In PS (Iran) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, (UKUT IAC, Feb. 20, 2020), the court concluded that such aperson does not run a real risk of persecution upon return to Iran, and therefore is not entitled to asylum in the UK. the court said in part:
PS has been out of Iran since 2013; he has claimed asylum on at least two occasions, variously asserting fear as a result of being caught up in the green movement protests, ‘honour’ based violence and latterly on the basis that he had converted to Christianity; he attended church between May 2015 and sometime in 2016 and was baptised after he had been going to that church for about two weeks; he has no known contact with the authorities prior to leaving Iran; he has no known connection with any persons of interest, nor any adverse social media content to be concerned about. He has no known connection with any organisation which could be connected by the Iranian government to the house church movement.  He may be asked to sign an undertaking promising that he will not undertake any Christian activities. There is no reason why PS would refuse. We find that he is likely to be judged to present a negligible risk to the security of Iran. He will be released fairly quickly and we are not satisfied that there is any risk of ill-treatment. PS may be placed under surveillance. Once the authorities are satisfied that he is not attending house church or attempting to contact known Christians he will be of no further interest to the authorities.  Accordingly, we find that PS does not face a real risk of persecution upon return to Iran and his appeal is dismissed. 
The Tribunal also issued a new Country Guidance based on this case. Law & Religion UK reports on the case at greater length.