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Rahim Rostami deported from Norway to Iran in danger of torture or death at Tehran’s Evin prison

An Iranian-Kurdish asylum seeker extradited from Norway to Iran is in danger of torture, ill-treatment or death at Tehran’s Evin prison

Wednesday 23 March 2011

[English] [فارسى]

Iran Human Rights, March 23: According to reports that reliable sources have given to Iran Human Rights (IHR), an Iranian Kurdish asylum seeker who was extradited from Norway to Iran on February 9th 2011, is in danger of torture, ill-treatment or even death at Tehran’s Evin prison.

Rahim Rostami (19 years old) whose asylum application had been rejected by the Norwegian authorities was arrested by the Norwegian police on February 8th and extradited to Tehran, accompanied by two Norwegian policemen, on February 9th. After being handed over to the Iranian authorities he has been taken to interrogation and later to the notorious Evin prison where he is being held now. According to sources IHR has been in contact with, Rahim has spent many days in solitary confinement.

Iranian authorities have refused releasing him on bail.

Rahim Rostami sought asylum in Norway in 2008, when he was a minor. Norwegian authorities rejected his asylum application and decided to send him back to Iran. In the rejection letter the Norwegian authorities have stated that " We have no reason to believe the asylum seeker (Rahim) will be subjected to persecution, ill-treatment or imprisonment upon his return to Iran".

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights urged the Norwegian authorities to do whatever they can do in order to save Rahim’s life. He said: "Norwegian authorities must take their share of the responsibility for Rahim’s imprisonment in one of the world’s most notorious prisons". He added: "It is not clear what charges are raised against Rahim, but the fact that the Iranian authorities have refused to release him on bail indicates that his case is very serious and that his life could be in danger". Amiry-Moghaddam also urged the human rights organizations, the civil society and Rahim’s friends in Norway to start a worldwide campaign to save Rahim Rostami’s life.

On extradition of Iranian asylum seekers to Iran, Amiry-Moghaddam said: " Iranian authorities have recently signalized that Iranians who have sought asylum abroad should be charged for "dissemination of false propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran" and punished for that. This means that seeking asylum by itself could be a reason for the Iranian authorities to subject the asylum seekers who are extradited to Iran, to persecution, imprisonment and ill-treatment.

Amiry-Moghaddam urged the authorities of Norway and all other Western countries to immediately stop extradition of Iranian asylum seekers to Iran.

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