Parvaneh Sarabadi is a Christian woman who converted from Islam to Christianity with her husband around two years ago. One of their relatives who works for the Islamic regime and has security support from the government, found out about their faith and eventually killed her husband in a conflict.
In her interview with Mohabat News she added that her husband’s murderer also subjected her to physical harassment, sexual abuse and severe mental pressure. Having no one to support her, and knowing that her testimony would not be accepted in the Islamic judicial system of Iran, she was forced to leave the country against her will. She crossed the border illegally and after many difficulties managed to arrive in Sweden where she sought asylum. Shortly after her arrival, she began ministering in a local church in the city of her residence. However, despite confirmations from the church regarding her claim, and the support of a number of the Human Rights advocacy groups, her asylum application was turned down by the Swedish Immigration Board Office. She is currently at risk of being deported to Iran.
She is currently being held police detention. On another occasion, on February 15, she was put on a plane heading to Iran, but when she as well as other passengers objected, the pilot said he wouldn’t fly the aircraft if she was on board. The police officers then took her back to detention and treated her badly as if she were a criminal.
In addition to collecting signatures for a petition in support of Ms. Sarabadi, a group of social activists also held protests and announced that according to international laws, she should be released and be granted her rights as a religious and political refugee. One of the many protests held in her support took place on the morning February 15, when police tried to send her back to Iran.
The protest was held in partnership with the church of Falun. A number of Ms. Sarabadi’s friends and supporters gathered in front of the police detention center in Falun. Another group held a protest in front of the Immigration office in Stockholm in expressing their objection to the decision of Immigration authorities regarding Ms. Sarabadi’s deportation.
Nevertheless, Ms. Sarabadi’s lawyer has said that he is following up on her case and going through the legal process to annul the Immigration Board’s decision and request that they review her case again. The lawyer says, “I think the support of all media, Refugee and Human Rights advocacy organizations is necessary and sincerely ask for their help. Publicizing Parvaneh’s situation through the media, especially in Europe, the advocacy of Human Rights organizations, as well as protests in support of Parvaneh’s refugee claim can be of great help”.
Considering the brutal treatment of the Islamic regime of Iran towards religious and political dissidents, and the death sentence for Christian converts who are apostates in the Iranian regime’s eyes, it is clear that deporting religious and political asylum seekers to Iran can put their lives at risk. This is why many social and political activists put all their efforts into stopping the deportation of asylum seekers to Iran.
According to Human Rights activists, a large protest was held in Sweden on March 9, 2013, against the inhuman situation of asylum seekers and refugees in the country and the harsh measures taken by Swedish police to deport them. The protest was held in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo, and Isala with thousands of participants.