Don’t distrust us!
This letter is a brief description of some Iranian asylum seekers situation in Sweden. We who have signed the letter has been here for many years, from 2 to nearly 12 years, waiting for a residence permit. We have escaped from a country that is known around the world for its barbaric regime.
Today it is a known fact that the ruling Islamic regime in Iran has been guilty of gross violations of basic human rights. Any critical voice and any legal and legitimate protest are silenced with brute force. Thousands of people have been executed or have been subjected to torture and persecution. Students, journalists and dissident intellectuals have been jailed and victims of torture and mass executions. There are hundreds of documented data about the things mentioned above, which has attracted the attention of numerous international organizations. Yes, and we have fled from such a country and such a regime.
We have travelled to Sweden, a country known over the world to be a democratic country with respect for human rights and freedoms. We have come to Sweden, a country that seems to be a place for persecuted independent-minded people. We have travelled to Sweden, a country that has at least since World War II become a haven for persecuted political refugees.
We have travelled to a country, who itself has signed all the international declarations on the right of asylum, but also been the driving force to produce them. But the question now is how we have been treated. We who have signed this message belong to the political activists who fought against the dictatorial regime in Iran. Many of us have either gone to prison, victims of torture and constant harassment in our own country. We have explained all the circumstances of our political activities in Iran as well as here in Sweden.
We have presented a wide range of evidence and documentation to confirm our respective grounds for asylum before the the Swedish Migration Board. We have made every effort to describe and explain the circumstances which led to our flight to Sweden. But nothing that we have done have helped.
The predominant motivation of the Migration Board, for rejecting our applications for asylum, has been to question our statements, in other words, our credibility. This is a thread running through all of our rejection notice. Instead of a concrete and objective review of our applications, the Migration Board’s strategy was to cast suspicion on us at every point we have presented. This suspicion, in light of all the convincing and factual documents we presented to the Migration Board, has served as an instrument to dehumanize ourselves before any court.
We, who are signatories to this letter, believe that we have been unjustly treated by the Immigration Board and its officers. We have therefore chosen to appeal to both the Swedish government and all the political parties and to the Swedish public.
During the long stay and the uncertainty in Sweden we have also been subjected to both physical and psychological pressure.
In practical terms, it was all about surviving as refugees in hiding, without any social or legal rights. We have been forced to provide for us in slave-like working conditions. Many of us have gone so far that we restricted ourselves to 10 or 15 Swedish kronor per hour to sustain ourselves. On cold winter nights we stayed at the attics and cold spaces that actually have been designated for storing goods and inanimate objects.
As a result of these inhumane living conditions, our health has deteriorated considerably. But it’s not just our bodies that have taken a beating. During all these long years, we have also suffered from anxiety, depression and progressive mental illness. In all these circumstances, we have not had the opportunity or any right to seek medical help.
When we got to Sweden, we were all young or in the ages that normally counted among the most productive years of your life. We have simply been robbed of those years and denied access to a decent life and decent future.
In light of the above mentioned, it is entirely appropriate and logical to wonder why we subject ourselves to these savage living conditions, and not returned to our homeland.
The key reasons why we can not return to Iran, are the facts we have already presented to the Immigration board. It is in part our political activities at home and partly on our political commitment against the Iranian regime here in exile.
So far we have repeatedly submitted these activities with corroborating evidence and documents for the Swedish authorities. For a closer look and detailed information on this please go to our respective cases at the Migration Board. Besides all of this we want to, once again, bring the attention of the readers to the prevailing political situation in Iran. It is a situation of daily human and freedom right violations and is characterized by repression, torture and persecution of any protesters voice. It’s actually quite unnecessary that we have to rely on a wide range of international organizations to gain support for our description of today’s Iran: Amnesty International, the UN Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms, the Red Cross, to name a few.
In light of the above mentioned, we turn now to all relevant Swedish authorities, all parliamentary parties, the media and a number of national and international organizations to draw attention to the unbearable situation we are in.
As of March 1, 2011, we sit in protest against the Immigration board in Smyrna Church, at Haga Kyrkogata 2 in Gothenburg. Our protest will continue until we get a clarification statement about our situation and the fair treatment of our asylum cases.
Committee for the protest action Don’t distrust us!
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org