Open Letter to the Swedish Migration Office
Mohammad Mehdi Maleki, Iranian asylum-seeker, born on 28 January 1985, case no. 10-983677
Maleki has been a student political activist against the Islamic Republic.
Mohammad Mehdi Maleki is among the activists who, using the internet and in various other ways has struggled against the regime in Iran until the moment of his detention. Mohammad Mehdi Maleki, as a result of his political activities in Iran, had been identified and persecuted by the security and judicial authorities of the Islamic Republic, and therefore, on 27 March 2008, sought political asylum from the Swedish government. Unfortunately, his application was rejected on the 3rd of December 2008 by the migration office. Maleki had been imprisoned for some time in Iran, but with the help of family and friends, was released on bail. Using that opportunity, he fled the country, entered Sweden, and asked for asylum.
Mohammad Mehdi Maleki, after entering Sweden and asking for asylum in this country, continued his struggle against the medieval rule of the Islamic Republic in Iran. Mohammad Mehdi is among the activists who, in connection to the campaign to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani from a stoning execution, participated on numerous occasions in demonstrations. During those demonstrations, he protested the savagery of the Islamic regime, and called for overthrowing that regime. Despite this, his asylum application was rejected, and he, like all other refugees, lived in very dire circumstances. The Migration Office gave him permission to work as a trainee in a carwashing facility in Lindesburg.
About 2 months ago, the police visited that facility, but Maleki was not there. The owner of the facility called Mehdi and told him about the visit. As soon as he was informed, Mehdi called the police and left his contact information with the police over the phone. The following day, he reported to the police station, but they told him that although they appreciated his responsible diligence in reporting back to them, the police had no business with him. They told him that he may continue working and living as usual. Mehdi has been a law-abiding person during the time that he has lived in Sweden. Mohammad Mehdi Maleki reported to the Lindesburg Police on Tuesday, 29 of March for the last time and signed the usual papers without any incident. But on the 31st of March, only two days later, he was arrested at his apartment and detained. The police told Mehdi Maleki that the reason for the arrest was because he had sought to hide himself from the authorities. Mehdi, in response, told them that if he had been such a fugitive, he would not have reported to the police, left his contact information with the police, and would not have stayed in his apartment [knowing the police had inquired regarding his whereabouts].He categorically rejected the accusations made by the police.
The Federation knows Mohammad Mehdi Maleki very well and knows that he has been involved in political activities against the Islamic Republic in Örebro. The last protest that Mohammad Mehdi participated in took place on March 16 in the city of Örebro, in protest against the massacre of prisoners in Ghezal Hesar prison [in Iran]. Mehdi too, like many others, has left Islam as his religion and has accepted Christianity – he is considered an apostate. During the time that he has been in detention, he has been interviewed by a large number of Farsi-language media inside and outside of Sweden, and has emphasized his political activism and his apostasy. Only these are enough to put him in harm’s way if he is returned by force to Iran. Specifically, the television station called ” Andishe,” in the United States, which broadcasts its programs into Iran, interviewed Mohammad Mehdi Maleki on the 7th of April and aired his story and his photograph. On the 14th of April, the Farsi-speaking radio called Radio HamsafarIran Emrooz in Gotenburg also interviewed him. On April 13th, Radio Voice of Refugees in Gotenburg interviewed Mehdi about his reasons for seeking asylum. In these interviews, Maleki, on numerous occasions, has repeated that he escaped from the Islamic Republic of Iran, but unfortunately, the Migration Office of Sweden rejected his reasons for seeking asylum
in Stockholm interviewed him on the same subject. On April 4th, another radio program called
Mohammad Mehdi Maleki has played a very active role against the Islamic Republic on Facebook, and has appeared there with his name and picture. Only one of the occasions in which Mohammad Mehdi Maleki participated in a protest against the stoning of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani in the city of Örebro is enough to be indicted by the Islamic Republic for acting against national security and the Islamic Republic system.
For instance, the government of Norway deported an Iranian asylum-seeker by the name Rahim Rostami on February 9, 2011, who is now imprisoned in Evin and in harm’s way. Last month, Mohseni Ejaei, the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Iran, announced during a press conference that the system will treat those outside of Iran who act against the Islamic regime the same way that it treats those citizens inside Iran who act against the regime. Despite all of the above, despite the dangers awaiting Mehdi if he is returned, the migration office has decided to deport Mohammad Mehdi Maleki to the inferno of the Islamic Republic.
Considering the consequences and the dangers of refoulement, the International Federation of Iranian Refugees calls on all organizations and institutions defending refugee rights to intervene and demand Mehdi’s release from detention by the Migration Office, cancellation of the deportation, and defense of his asylum rights.
Secretary of the Solidarity International Federation of Iranian Refugees
17 April 2011