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Iranian convert loses asylum appeal in New Zealand: CEN 4.02.08 April 2, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper, Immigration.
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Published in The Church of England Newspaper’s Religious Intelligence section.

The asylum appeal of an Iranian convert to Christianity has been rejected by the New Zealand government.

Lawyers for Ali Reza Panah told Radio New Zealand on April 1, the Immigration Service had turned down Panah’s appeal and would begin deportation proceedings.

Panah has been held in administrative custody for 20 months for refusing to sign papers that could lead to his expulsion and had staged a 52 day hunger strike before being paroled into the custody of the Anglican Church of New Zealand. He has won the backing of Archbishop David Moxon who pleaded for the government to exercise clemency on his behalf.

Returning Panah to Iran “would be unsafe for him,” Archbishop Moxon and the head of the church’s social justice commission said last fall, and they were “gravely concerned” for his safety should he be sent home, as “the number of people executed by the Iranian State each year is thought to be second only to China.”

The government argued Panah was in no danger of harm if he were deported home to Iran. On Sept 3 Mr. Cunliffe stated “there’s been no reported case of a deportee being killed or severely persecuted on return to Iran.”

However, legislation brought by the government of President Mahmoud Amadinejad before the Iranian Majlis in February seeks to impose the death penalty for apostates from Islam. The Washington think tank, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy reported on Feb 5 the proposed “Bill for Islamic Penal” law will be the first time that Iran has by statute mandated the death penalty for conversion from Islam.

Comments

1. Steynianism 100 « Free Mark Steyn! - April 3, 2008

[…] the elderly should discourage Christian workers who do not believe in gay rights, say inspector; The asylum appeal of an Iranian convert to Christianity has been rejected by the New Zealand government …. (creativeminorityreport, […]

2. Webelf Report News Blogroll « The WebElf Report - April 17, 2008

[…] CONGER: The asylum appeal of an Iranian convert to Christianity has been rejected by the New Zealand […]

3. British Court Finds that Muslims Converting to Christianity Qualify for Asylum « JONATHAN TURLEY - October 5, 2008

[…] The same grounds were raised in this year by an Iranian in an petition in Australia but denied, here. […]


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