Wednesday, 5 January 2011

TAKE ACTION! Stop Deportation (& Therefore Execution) of Iranian Christian 'Apostate' by Sweden

The following appeal is taken from a note posted on Facebook by John Burke, which can be read here.

My friends,

Urgent action is needed to prevent Sweden from deporting Keivan Soufastaie back to Iran on Friday. As an ex-Muslim who converted to Christianity, he already has a documented case against him filed by IRI for "Apostasy", which carries the death penalty. Bear in mind that he evangelized for his own Christian beliefs as being preferable to those of Islam in his own work place in front of multiple witnesses.  Additionally, he would undoubtedly face "Mohareb" charges for joining an ex-Muslim group of Iranians in Sweden who speak out against both the IRI and its ideological/theocratic underpinnings.

I am borrowing from Mission Free Iran as well as The International Coalition for the Rights of Iranian Refugees to provide background on Keivan's case:

Keivan Soufastaie is 35 years old. He keeps a blog, and is interested in reading, religion, and football. He is an older brother to two siblings, a boy and a girl. Keivan is from Iran.

He fled his home country for Sweden in March 2008 because the Islamic Republic’s security forces were looking for him. They wanted to arrest Keivan because in his position as a manager in a factory, he criticized Islam in front of the workers, and evangelized for Christianity. Keivan Soufastaie was to be arrested and detained on charges of apostasy – rejecting Islam. There is now a formally-documented apostasy case pending against him in the Islamic Republic’s court.

Keivan’s little brother was arrested by the Islamic Republic of Iran when the regime could not arrest Keivan himself. This is a well-known tactic of the Islamic Republic, intended to pressure its targets to turn themselves in.

Link to original article:

We all know what fate Keivan would face with the combination of "Apostate" and "Mohareb" charges against him...yet the Swedish refugee officials used the most appallingly flawed "logic" to deny his plea for asylum  (again, please see the above link) and are now determined to deport him this Friday.

I urge you to send appeals to the following email addresses. I include my own sample letter, which again incorporates the core demands of the appeal letter from Mission Free Iran.

Sample Letter:

To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to express my extreme distress upon hearing that Sweden plans to deport Keivan Soutastaie, a Christian convert with a documented case of  "Apostasy" filed against him in Iran, back to that country on Friday. If sent  back he will certainly face execution. Not only does Sharia law, which is the law of the land under the Islamic Republic of Iran, demand a death sentence  for converting from Islam to Christianity, but also Keivan has joined an organization of ex-Muslims in Sweden. This group speaks out against militant Islamist ideology, and openly opposes the very tenants of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This  fact opens Keivan to a charge of "Mohareb", or "Waging War Against God"--this charge also carries the death penalty and many, many prisoners of conscience in Iran are on death row as a result of being convicted of Mohareb. The combination of "Apostasy" and "Mohareb" guarantees that Keivan will face execution for peacefully expressing his religious beliefs if deported back to Iran.

Despite all of this, the Swedish government has used the most appallingly flawed "logic" to deny a clear-cut case of political asylum. I therefore must join the International Coalition For The Rights of Iranian Refugees in urgently demanding the following:

1)  That Keivan Soufastaie be granted his clearly-deserved refugee status. He is a documented execution risk. The fact that Sweden plans to deport a documented execution risk to the Islamic Republic of Iran, in contradiction to its own legislation prohibiting repatriation to Iran, serves as a glaring red flag: what is Sweden doing with cases that are not so clearly documented – people who have equal and justified fear of persecution, torture, execution, and yet do not have the same documentation that Keivan Soufastaie has?

2) The Swedish government needs to send out a memo to immigration staff on the current situation in Iran – immediately – and stop persecuting the persecuted. Sweden is a country with values based on human dignity and human rights. Swedish immigration authorities needs to start acting like it.

3) The Swedish government should stand by the findings of the European Court of Human Rights: stop threatening to deport Iranians, and in fact go one step further to grant Iranians prima facie status based on the clear and objective crisis-level human rights situation in Iran. Sweden should also take responsibility for initiating legislation in the UN to give prima facie status to Iranian asylum-seekers.

Thank you in advance for acting IMMEDIATELY to secure the above, as time is of the essence and an innocent man's life is in grave danger.


Addresses to which to send your appeals:;;;;;;

Also please sign the online petition:

Please advise me as to which addresses do not work, as well as which to add...I rely on all of you for your wisdom.


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