The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Fighting for Asylum

This article by Sean Brander covers the story of Sahar Kamrani who is fighting for asylum in Greece. She fled Iran after being arrested.

When she was 19 and still living in Tehran, Iran, just eight years ago, the wind blew back her headscarf, revealing her hair, and the police stopped her on the street. They searched her bag and found a fake Christian ID she had used to slip into a friend’s wedding and a book her friend had given her – a book criticising Islam that carried with it a death sentence. She was arrested on the spot and thrown in jail.

It has been a long and difficult struggle. After her third application for asylum was rejected, she was threatened with deportation.

Kamrani and Lankhaar tried to move to Holland, but the Dutch authorities rejected her, saying that her case rested with Greece. They called her husband a smuggler. Within a few days, officials in Greece rejected her third and final request for asylum and told her that she had three months until she would be deported.

“They told me that they didn’t see my life in danger, so they turned me down,” she said.

She couldn’t safely return to Iran. Returning meant arrest. A contact in the police department suggested that she move without updating her address. “If we can’t find you,” he said, “we can’t deport you.”

“I would have had to hide,” Kamrani said, dismissing the thought. “I’d be illegal.”

She fought back by taking the Greek authorities to court. She lost the case and the subsequent appeals. Now the case has reached the highest court in Greece and Sahar is hoping she will lose so that in the end, she can make a difference for others.

I want to make a difference for the refugees in Greece. If I’m rejected, what about others? I’ve paid thousands to keep this case going – no ordinary refugee can afford to do that. I hope I lose so I can take it to the European Court. There I can effect change in the way Greece, and even Europe, treats refugees

Read the whole article here.

Please also see my proposed asylum campaign.

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1 Comment

  1. Papa Duck
    September 7, 2008    

    It is great that Sahar is in a position to fight on behalf of others. We can all be cynical about the EU, but at the very least it has created a space in which these sorts of arguments can be heard. As I think DD has put it (probably better) before: Greece cannot in all reason have it both ways, benefiting from the EU when it feels like it and ignoring the rules in the folorn hope of preserving its ‘homogeneity’.