Ayegh v. Sweden
European Court of Human Rights
App. No. 4701/05 (2006)
Mahin Ayegh (plaintiff) was an Iranian citizen who took her 17-year-old son to Sweden (defendant) to seek asylum to avoid his conscription in the military upon turning 18 years old. Ayegh’s asylum claim and her appeal were unsuccessful. Ayegh was taken into custody, after which she filed a new asylum application and a request to stay the deportation order. Ayegh then alleged that while in Sweden, her husband in Iran had threatened to kill her if she returned and had accused her of abandoning her home, taking his son away unlawfully, and committing adultery in Sweden. Ayegh’s request for a stay was denied. However, the day before deportation orders were to be enforced, Ayegh renewed the request for a stay and submitted evidence sent by her sister in Iran in the form of faxed documents in Persian. Ayegh indicated that the documents included a summons application submitted to an Iranian court, accusing her of adultery, leaving her home, and taking her son illegally. Ayegh indicated that there were three summonses to appear and present a defense in court. Ayegh explained that another document was a letter from her husband, which was not dated, that indicated that he had reported her for adultery and was seeking the stiffest penalties possible. Ayegh alleged that she could receive the death penalty or corporal punishment for adultery. Ayegh explained that she had not thought to disclose her husband’s alleged threats until after her detention because she was worried about her son’s situation and because she had mental problems. The Alien Appeals Board rejected Ayegh’s new application. The appeals board believed it was strange that Ayegh’s husband had been threatening her since her arrival in Sweden, but she had somehow failed to mention it or give a satisfactory explanation. The appeals board also determined that the documents Ayegh submitted had little evidentiary value. Sweden claimed that the court forms showing a charge of adultery were certainly false because they referred to a court that had not existed for years. In addition, the court referenced was a civil court, not a criminal court, where a charge of adultery would be prosecuted. Ayegh indicated that she assumed the documents were genuine because her sister had sent them to her, and her lawyer had reviewed the documents without concern for their authenticity. Ayegh asserted that deportation would violate the European Convention on Human Rights (the convention).
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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