Sunday, 20 February 2011

Swiss court upholds ruling to deport gay Iranian convicted drug dealer

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The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has rejected the appeal of a convicted heroin trafficker against deportation to his native Iran.

The 35-year-old gay Iranian, who is in a civil partnership with a Swiss man, said he feared for his life if he were to be returned since many homosexuals were sentenced to death in Iran.

However, the court ruled on Monday that the fears were not justified even if homosexuality is illegal in Iran and Sharia law provides for the application of the death penalty.

The court stressed that homosexuality is not unusual in Iran, and that it was tolerated as long as it remained hidden, and that it would be wrong to assume that gay Iranians are systematically discriminated against.

It was also noted that the Iranian had made several trips to Iran including two trips with his partner without being subject to any discrimination.

The court concluded that there was no reason to believe that the claimant would be exposed to any risks as defined by the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits torture, punishment and degrading or humiliating treatment.

The Iranian was given a two-year suspended sentence for drugs trafficking, after being found in possession of 70 grams of heroin by a court in Bern. This meant the loss of his right to renew his Swiss residency permit.
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