Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 12:56 GMT

Update to the UNHCR CDR Background Paper on Refugees and Asylum Seekers from Iran

Publisher UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Author Centre for Documentation and Research
Publication Date 1 May 1997
Other Languages / Attachments Greek
Cite as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Update to the UNHCR CDR Background Paper on Refugees and Asylum Seekers from Iran, 1 May 1997, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a64a0.html [accessed 18 September 2014]
Comments This information paper was prepared in the Country Research and Analysis Unit of UNHCR's Centre for Documentation and Research on the basis of publicly available information, analysis and comment, in collaboration with Regional Bureau Responsible for Somalia and the UNHCR Statistical Unit. All sources are cited. This paper is not, and does not, purport to be, fully exhaustive with regard to conditions in the country surveyed, or conclusive as to the merits of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

1.   Refugees and Asylum Seekers from Iran in Europe and North America

1.1        Introduction

This Chapter provides a comparative overview of Iranian nationals in Western European[1] and North American asylum procedures, based on government statistics.

Due to a lack of common standards for the compilation of asylum statistics, the scope for any detailed comparison is limited. Thus, data may refer to individuals or principal applicants ("cases"), to those who submit a request for asylum or to those who are admitted into the asylum procedure. Persons fleeing former Yugoslavia who benefit from temporary protection are only included to the extent that they have submitted an individual asylum request.

It should be stressed that asylum statistics are not necessarily related to a change of residence. Thus, asylum applications may be submitted at the border where people seek to enter the country or from within the country by persons who have already established residence, e.g. as students or migrant workers. Similarly, people whose claims are rejected may not necessarily leave the country.

The statistics presented here refer to asylum applications of spontaneously arrived asylum-seekers and thus generally exclude resettlement. In the tabulations, "Applications" refer to the number of asylum applications; "Conv. status" refers to the number granted refugee status (asylum) under the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and/or its 1967 Protocol, "Rejections" refers to negative asylum decisions, whereas "Humanitarian" refers to the granting of a non-Convention or humanitarian status. Generally, the decisions refer to those made in first instance only.

The recognition rates provided in Table 6a and 6b have been calculated by UNHCR and are based on the number of Convention status recognitions divided by the total of the number of Convention status recognitions plus the number of negative decisions. While this allows to make comparisons between countries, this also implies that the rates calculated here may differ from the ones provided by individual governments.

Lastly, in the tables, a zero may indicate that the value is zero, unknown, not available or not applicable. Some of the more recent data, including for the USA and the UK, are preliminary and subject to change.

1.2   Summary of main findings

a.         All applications

·         During 1990-1995, some 3.7 million applications for asylum were submitted in Europe (75%) and North America (25%). The leading receiving countries were Germany (1.5 million applications) and the United States (674,000);

·         During 1990-1995, some 363,000 asylum-seekers were granted refugee status under 1951 UN Convention, 241,000 in Europe (66%) and some 123,000 in North America. Countries which granted refugee status to the largest number of asylum-seekers were Germany (93,000), Canada (87,000) and France (61,000);

·         During 1990-1995, some 11% of all refugee status determination decisions in Europe resulted in the granting of Convention refugee status, compared to 46% in North America. Countries with the highest Convention recognition rates are Canada (65%), Belgium (31%) and the United States (27%);

·         During 1990-1995, an additional 224,000 persons were granted a humanitarian status in Europe, almost equalling the number of Convention recognitions. Sweden granted humanitarian status to almost half of these (48%);

·         In 1995, some 320,000 asylum requests were submitted in Europe, equal the number in 1994. In North America, some 175,000 asylum requests were recorded in 1995, almost the same as in 1994 (170,000);

b.         Iranian applications

·         In Europe, during 1990-1995, some 70,000 Iranian nationals applied for asylum in Europe (table 3), constituting some 3% of all asylum applications (table 5). In North America, another 14,000 Iranians applied for asylum or less than 2 per cent of all applications.

·         According to Table 4, during 1990-1995, Germany received almost half of all Iranians seeking asylum in Europe (43%) followed by the Netherlands (23%) and Sweden (11%).

·         In Europe, during 1990-1995, 36% of all Iranian asylum seekers were granted Convention refugee status, more than three times the European average for all asylum-seekers (11%). However, Iranian recognition rates have steadily fallen from more than 40 in 1991/2 to under 30% in 1994 and 1995.

·         In North America, some 80 per cent of all Iranian asylum-seekers were recognized as refugees.

1.3   All nationalities (Tables 1 and 2)

Applications

In 1995, some 320,000 persons applied for asylum in Europe, about the same number as in 1994 (319,000). Some 75% of all applications were submitted in three countries: Germany (52), United Kingdom (14, cases only) and the Netherlands (9).

Whereas Germany has been the main recipient of asylum-seekers for years, accounting for half of all asylum applications submitted in Europe, the United Kingdom experienced a significant increase in the number of asylum applications: its share increased from 4 per cent in 1993 to 14 per cent in 1995 (cases only).

In 1995, the main three receiving countries were followed by France, accounting for 6 per cent of all applications, Switzerland (5 per cent), Belgium (4), Sweden (3) Austria, Denmark and Spain (each 2) and Italy (1). Finland, Greece, Norway and Portugal each accounted for less than 0.5 per cent of the applications submitted during 1995.

In North America, the United States received some 80% of all applications during 1990-1995. In the period 1993-1995, this percentage was even higher: between 85 and 90%.

Convention status

In 1995, some 48,000 persons were granted Convention refugee status in Europe, slightly more than in 1994 (47,000). Almost 50 per cent of all persons recognized as refugee under the 1951 Convention were recognized by Germany (23,500 or 49%) followed by the Netherlands (8,000 or 17%), Denmark (4,800 or 10%), France (4,500 or 9%), Switzerland (2,600 or 6%), Belgium (1,300 or 3%), the United Kingdom (1,200 or 3%, cases only) and Austria (1,000 or 2%).

In North America, whereas Canada received 20% of all asylum applications in North America during 1990-1995, the country accorded 70% of all Convention status recognition decisions.

Humanitarian status

In 1995, an additional 38,000 persons were allowed to remain for humanitarian reasons. The granting of humanitarian status was concentrated in Denmark (38 per cent of all humanitarian status recognitions in Europe), the Netherlands (28%), the United Kingdom (12%), Germany (10%) and Sweden (9%).

Convention recognition rates

During 1990-1995, Convention recognition rates (usually in first instance) were comparatively high in Belgium (31 per cent), France (20%) and the Netherlands (20%), i.e. at least double the overall rate for Europe (11 per cent). Conversely, relatively low Convention recognition rates are recorded in Finland (2 per cent), Greece (5), Norway (2) and Portugal (4). In Canada, the total Convention recognition rate was some 65% and in the United States some 27 (see Annex Table 6a).

1.4   Iranian nationals (Tables 3, 4 and 5)

Applications

During 1990-1995, some 71,000 Iranian nationals applied for asylum in Europe, representing 2.5 per cent of all applications. Some 77% of all Iranians applied for asylum in three countries: Germany (43%), the Netherlands (23) and Sweden (11) (see Table 4, last column).

In North America, another 14,000 Iranians applied for asylum during 1990-1995, of whom two-third in Canada, representing less than 2 per cent of all asylum applications submitted on that continent.

Convention recognitions

During 1990-1995, some 22,000 Iranian asylum-seekers were granted Convention status in Europe, mostly by Germany (66%) and the Netherlands (12%).

In North America, 30,000 Iranians were granted refugee status, 80% of whom were accepted by Canada.

Humanitarian status

Some 11,500 Iranian asylum-seekers were granted humanitarian status in Europe during 1990-1995, of whom 5,400 (almost 50%) by Sweden and another 3,400 by the Netherlands (30).

In Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Iranians were overwhelmingly granted humanitarian rather than Convention status. In the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, although more Iranians were granted humanitarian than Convention status, the difference was much smaller.

Convention recognition rates

The 1990-1995 the Convention recognition rate for Iranian asylum-seekers in Europe, 36 per cent, is significantly higher than the recognition rate for all nationalities, although it fell to 26% in 1995.

In 1990-1995, countries with the highest recognition rates were Canada (84 per cent), United States (64), France (57) and Italy (72).

2.   Historical Background:

Iran is formerly known as Persia. It was ruled by a series of dynasties from the Achaemenid empire to the 7th century AD when it was invaded by the Muslim Arab armies and became part of the growing Muslim world. It was later ruled by the Turkic and Mongol supremacy until the early 16th century when the Sadavid dynasty was founded. In 1934, the country's name was changed from Persia to Iran by Reza Khan, a colonel who became prime minister in 1923, and then acceded to the throne in 1925. He was known as Reza Shah Pahlavi. During the Second World War, he abdicated in favor of his son, Mohammed Reza [Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) 1996-1997, 3] .

Because of his strong ties with the West, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was faced with growing strong nationalist sentiment which eventually forced the appointment of Mohammed Mosaddiq as prime minister in 1951. However, Mosaddiq's government was overthrown in 1953 in a US- and UK-backed coup. Since then, the Monarch began its autocratic policies suppressing all opposition forces. One of the leading critics of the regime was the Shia cleric Ayatollah Khomeini who was forced into exile in 1964. As the public perceived that the shah had made Iran into a Western client state, popular discontent grew which eventually led to the overthrow of the shah in January 1979. Iran became a self-styled "Islamic Republic" in March 1979 following the return from exile of Ayatollah Khomeini (EIU, 1996-1997, 4).

After the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in June 3, 1989, Ayatollah Ali Khameini was appointed but was not given the position of vali-ye faqih (the qualified religious leader) that was especially created for A. Khomeini. Mr. Khameini held a less exalted position of rahbar (leader) and therefore the head of state. He is also Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. He shares power with the president, Hojatolislam Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who is considered a pragmatist and economic reformer, who brought in a large number of Western-educated technocrats in his Cabinet (EIU 1996-1997, 4).

3.   Recent Developments

3.1.  Politics

The Islamic government was built along the Shi'ite interpretation of the tenets of the Koran and the Sunnah, emphasizing the rejection of Western materialism and political ideas (Haynes, 1994, 72). The President, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, was elected to office in 1989 and re-elected in 1993 (Keesing's Record of World Events, 1995, R133). The President, as well as the 270-member legislature, the Majlis ash Shoura (Consultative Council), are elected by universal suffrage every four years. While the Majlis approves the appointment, or may request the resignation, of all members of the Council of Ministers, all legislation passed by the Majlis is reviewed by a Council of Constitutional Guardians to ensure conformity with the principles of religious law and the Constitution (Ibid.). Amid protests by Islamic opposition members, new legislation passed in 1995 reportedly gives the Council of Constitutional Guardians the additional power to screen candidates for parliamentary elections (Reuters, 2 August 1995). The Council of Constitutional Guardians is said to have rejected many candidates in the last elections on "vague moral and religious grounds and did not even feel it was obliged to explain its rulings to those concerned" (Ibid.). On the other hand, the Council of Constitutional Guardians has reportedly also "rejected a segment in the new election law that requires candidates to be university or Islamic theology school graduates, saying it was in violation of equal opportunity and equal legal protection clauses in Iran's constitution" (Ibid.).

The elections of the fourth Islamic Majlis in 1992 highlighted the tension between supporters of President Rafsanjani's Association of Combatant Clerics of Tehran (Jameh-ye Ruhaniyat-e Mobarez-e Tehran - "Ruhaniyat"), advocating a revision of the domestic and foreign policies of the Khomeini years, and supporters of the Association of Combatant Clergy of Tehran (Majma- ye Ruhaniyoun-e Mobarez-e Tehran - "Ruhaniyoun"), who favored the continuation of the policies of the Khomeini era (Sarabi, 1994). With its victory, the Ruhaniyat gained control of the legislature as well as the executive, and the transitional period that had begun with the death of Ayatollah Khomeini was brought to an end (Ibid.) The Economist Intelligence Unit pointed out that since the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, the Majlis has become more powerful and the two legislative elections since 1989 have been the freest in Iran's history (EIU, Country Profile, 1996-1997).

The elections of the fifth Majlis were held in March and April 1996. The conservative Society of Combatant Clergy won only 96 seats which represent a major decline as compared with 155 in the previous Majlis. The main refomist group, the Servants of Construction won a similar number of seats.

There are several implications. The conservative Society of Combatant Clergy has an insufficient number of seats to have an overall majority. Therefore, with the support of other moderate groups, the reformist may be able to defeat the Society of Combatant Clergy on vital issues. Furthermore, the elections of the fifth Majlis also signaled the stready decline of the number of clerics in the Majlis. For example, the first Majlis contained 125 clerics, the second had 122, the third contained just 77 clerics which fell to 65 in the fourth and clerics number only 50 in the fifth Majlis (EIU, 1996-1997, 7)

Iran's relations with Germany and to a larger extent with the EU have come under strain over the trial starting in 1992, and, subsequently, the recent ruling by a German court regarding the Mykonos murders in Berlin. On 10 April 1997, a German court found Mr. Darabi and his chief accomplice, Abbas Rhayel, guilty of murder and and sentenced the two men to life in prison. Two other men, Youssef Amin and Mohammed Atris were given terms of 11 years and 5 years and three months. A fifth man, Atallah Ayad, was acquited. The German court also said that the highest levels of the Iranian government, through its Committee for Special Operations, had been involved in the slaying of three Kurdish dissidents and their translator at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin. The Court said that the Committee consists of Iran's president, its top religious authority, the Minister of intelligence and other senior security officials [International Herald Tribune (IHT), 11 April 1997].

After the court ruling and on the same day, the 15-nation EU decided to recall all of its ambassadors from Tehran and suspended its so-called critical dialogue. However, in late April 1997, the EU was said to be ready to return its diplomats to Tehran (IHT, 29 April 1997).

3.2.  Economy

Expectations of economic reform fostered by the Ruhaniyat victory have not materialized, however, as "the new Majlis was no more willing to rally behind [President] Rafsanjani's reform programs than was the previous one" (Banuazizi, 1994). Those of his programmes requiring parliamentary approval were "repeatedly torpedoed by a new, powerful group of so-called 'hardliners'", with his detractors on major issues receiving support from Ayatollah Khameini (Ibid.).

With the recent resignation of Mas'ud Roghani Zanjani from the Budget and Planning Organization (BPO) over disagreements on policies adopted by the Market Regulation Board (MRB), which is said to be "controlled by Marxist-oriented economists", President Rafsanjani reportedly lost the last bastion of his economic reforms (Middle East International, 25 August 1995). This is seen to represent a reversal of government economic policies, a return to a statist- style economy, and a "resounding victory for Khameini over Rafsanjani" (Ibid.).

The latest official figures put inflation in the Iranian year to March 21, 1996 at 50% (EIU, 1996-1997, 14). Many Iranians, including government officials, are said to be holding two jobs, when they can find them, and price increases for basic goods and services have reportedly fueled public unrest (The Economist, 25 June 1994). A combination of price increases and housing shortages has led to an increase in urban uprisings, and since 1990 there have reportedly been "major upheavals in Tehran, Shiraz, Arak, Mashhad, Ghazvin and Tabriz . . . [with] . . . frequent minor clashes in many other urban centers" (Bayat, 1994).

3.3.  Society

The Iranian Government, said to be concerned about the increasing number of protests around the country, reportedly staged military maneuvers in August 1995 in 17 cities aimed at "testing the preparedness of the Baseej volunteer militias and other government forces for containing and then crushing any armed uprising" (Mideast Mirror, 10 August 1995). In an April 1995 confrontation between police and anti-government protestors sparked by increased bus fares and inadequate water supplies, police helicopters reportedly fired tear gas at demonstrators, resulting in one death and several wounded (The Guardian, 5 April 1995).

Following government orders in July 1994 to quell a riot in the northern city of Qazvin, senior officers in the army, air force and the usually loyal Islamic Revolutionary Guard reportedly "put the mullahs on notice that they would no longer order their troops into battle to quell civil disorder", and, in a communiqué sent to Ayatollah Ali Khameini, stated that "the role of the country's armed forces is to defend its borders and to repel foreign enemies from its soil, not to control the internal situation or to strengthen one political faction above another" (The Economist, 27 August 1994). They are said to have then recommended the use of Baseej volunteers for this purpose (Ibid.).

In a move believed to indicate a shift in the trust of the ruling clerics from the Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards) to the Baseej volunteer force, on 17 April 1995 Ayatollah Ali Khameini reportedly promoted a civilian, veterinary surgeon Hassan Firuzabadi, to the rank of full general, "placing him above both Brigadier-General Mohsen Rezai, commander-in-chief of the Pasdaran and Brigadier General Ali Shahbazi of the regular armed forces" (MEl, 28 April 1995). A subsequent communiqué issued by the National Movement of the Iranian Armed Forces allegedly regretted the placing of a "simple civilian above the nation's most prestigious and respected professional soldiers", warning of its potentially negative impact on the overall morale of the armed forces (Ibid.).

3.4.  Security Forces

Article 143 of the Constitution entrusts the armed forces with the task of protecting the independence, territorial integrity and system of government of the Islamic Republic, and Article 144 further stipulates that it shall be an Islamic army, organized along the tenets of Islam and that it shall recruit competent persons faithful in the objectives if the Islamic Revolution in seeing them realized.

The Armed Forces

The Armed Forces number approximately 513,000. The army consists of some 95,000 regulars and 250,000 concripts serving a two-year term. The force has four armoured and seven infantry divisions, as well as a special forces division and an airborne brigade and an airborne brigade (EIU, 1996-1997, 9). The navy numbers some 18,000 including 2,000 marines while the air force has about 30,000 (EIU, 1996-1997, 9).

Ashura Brigades

This force was reportedly created in 1993 after anti-government riots erupted in various Iranian cities and it consists of 17,000 Islamic militia men and women (AFP, 17 July 1995). The Ashura Brigades are reportedly composed of elements of the Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran) and the Baseej volunteer militia (Middle East International, 23 June 1995).

Party of God (Hizbollah)

The very word Hizbollah, although Arabic, first came to prominence to denote a faction of street fighters in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. They consider themselves as followers of the path of Ayatollah Khomeini (Human Rights Watch/Middle East, August 1993, 6) and are seen as the preservers of the revolution (Libération, 26-27 August 1995). They are said to gather at the invitation of the state-affiliated media and generally act without meaningful police restraint or fear of persecution (Human Rights Watch/Middle East, August 1993, 6). In the view of a conservative Islamic leader, Ayatollah Ahmed Janati, they have the right to break laws, substitute for the police or the justice system in their struggle against "Western corruption", and "neither the police, the judicial system, nor any other authority have the right to stand in their way" (Ibid.). In mid-April 1997 after a court ruling in Germany, the leader of this extremist Muslim fundamentalist group in Iran threatened Germany with suiside bombings (Washington Post, 19 April 1997, A17).

Baseej

The third group consists of the baseej (volunteers). They come under the control of the Revolutionary Guards. In 1988, up to 900,000 baseej were mobilized. The Baseej allegedly also monitor the activities of citizens, and "harass or arrest women whose clothing does not cover the hair and all of the body except hands and face, or those who wear makeup" (US Department of State, Country Report for 1994, March 1995). According to Reuters, during the year ending in June 1995, they "notified 907,246 people verbally and issued 370,079 written notices against ‘social corruption' and arrested 86,190 people . . . [and also] . . . broke up 542 ‘corrupt gangs', arresting their 2,618 members, and seized 86,597 indecent videocassettes and photographs" (7 June 1995).

Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran-e Inqilab)

The revolutionary regime remains suspicious of the regular military, and therefore, Pasdaran-e Inqilab (revolutionary guards) was created (EIU, 1996-1997, 9). As it is stipulated in Article 150 of the Constitution, the scope of functions and responsibilities of the said corps in relation to the scope of functions and responsibilities of the armed forces with the stress laid upon fraternal collaboration and coordination between the two of them, shall be determined by law." In its report, the Economist Intelligence Unit stated that its ground and naval forces allegedly numbered 100,000 and 20,000, respectively. The Pasdaran additionally have operated as the "principal arm of domestic security" although they now have to apply for a search warrant before they can raid a private home (The Economist, 29 July 1994). However, in August 1994, some Pasdaran units, rushed to quell riots in the city of Ghazvin, 150 km. west of Tehran, reportedly refused orders from the Interior Minister to intervene in the clashes, which allegedly left more than 30 people dead, 400 wounded and over 1,000 arrested (Middle East International, 9 September 1994). A Pasdaran commander was among four senior army officers who are said to have sent a letter to the country's political leadership, warning the clerical rulers against "using the armed forces to crush civilian unrest and internal conflicts" (Ibid.).

3.5.  Political Parties

Article 26 of the Constitution provides for political parties and professional associations which do not contravene Islamic principles (Keesing's Record of World Events, 1995, R133). Two parties were formed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution -- the Islamic Republican Party (IRP), which disbanded in 1987, and the Liberation Movement of Iran, which was allowed to nominate candidates for legislative elections in 1984 (Ibid.). In 1988 a Political Parties Activities Law was reportedly approved by the Iranian authorities, requesting political parties to "re-register in the Interior Ministry to obtain permission for their activities" (Xinhua News Agency, 27 April 1995). In 1994, Interior Minister Ali Mohammad Besharati is said to have indicated that his Ministry had received 400 applications for the establishment of political parties and trade unions, and that 76 licenses had been issued for the creation of guilds, unions and political parties (Ibid.).

The Islamic Republican Party

It was founded in February 1979, its members included President Rafsanjani and the Ayatollah Khameini (EIU, Country Report, 1995, 7). The party disbanded in 1987 because of strains between its main factions, the "radicals" calling for increased state control of the economy and support for Islamic movements abroad, and the "pragmatists", who favoured a market economy and a more moderate foreign policy (Ibid.).

The Freedom Movement of Iran / The Liberation Movement of Iran - Nezat-e Azadi

The party was founded long before the Islamic Revolution, in 1961 (Xinhua News Agency, 27 April 1995; Political Parties of Africa and the Middle East, 1993, 122). It reportedly follows a moderate nationalist and Islamist line (AFP, 4 April 1995). It was led since its founding by the first prime minister after the 1979 Revolution, Dr. Mehdi Bazargan, until his death in 1995, the party apparently has been tolerated despite its criticism of the government, though several of its leaders have frequently been arrested (Economist Intelligence Unit, 1995, 7).

The National Council for Resistance (NCR)

This group was founded in Paris in 1981 by the first president of the Islamic Republic, Mr. Bani Sadr (Documentation Réfugiés, mars 1994). Initially it was a broad coalition including the Mujahedeen, the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), the National Democratic Front, the Hoviyat Group and several small leftist groups (Abrahamiam, 1989, 243). In 1984, a number of groups allegedly left the NCR, including the liberals under Bani Sadr and the KDPI (Ibid., 246-47). The Mujahedeen reportedly considered the NCR as the backbone of the political alternative to the regime in Tehran (Al-Majallah, 13-19 January 1993), while others saw it as a Mujahedeen front organization (Hooglund, 30 March 1993). At present, the NCR, headed by a woman, Maryam Rajavi, who claims to include "all political groups, parties and personalities [including academics and religious leaders] active against the regime . . . [who] . . . believe in the separation of church and state and in a republic based on pluralism" (The Middle East, September 1994).

In 1996, Reuters reported that before the arrival of the UN Special Representative in Iran to investigate the human rights situation there, NCR called on him to investigate what it called specific cases of rights abuses including mass executions, torture, rape of female prisoners (Reuters, 09 Feb., 1996). In the aftermath of the German Court ruling regarding the Mykonos murders in Berlin, NCR asked Bonn to expeditiously sever its economic and diplomatic ties with the Iranian regime (Washington Post, 19 April 1997, p. A19).

Mujahedeen-e Khalq or Sazman-e Mojahedin-e Khalq-e Iran (People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran - PMOI)

The group was founded in 1965 and is currently led by Massoud Rajavi. Its ideology, based on Islam, emphasizes the need for social change, reportedly incorporating many Marxist ideas (Sarraf, 1990, 181; Hooglund, 1986, 19). The party was instrumental in overthrowing Shah Reza Pahlavi, but in 1981 withdrew its support from the Islamic regime in favor of President Bani Sadr. After the latter's dismissal in June 1981, the government began a "rigorous campaign" against all political opposition, and the PMOI leadership was forced into exile in France, until 1986, when the French government closed down its headquarters in Paris, whereupon Rajavi and his followers moved to Iraq (Revolutionary and Dissident Movements, 1988, 165). The group is said to have claimed responsibility for several attacks in Iran, including those carried out in May 1993 against eight oil pipelines in the southwestern city of Abadan and in October 1993 against [Ayatollah] Khomeini's shrine outside Tehran (Ibid.). Women are said to play a prominent role in the organization: a leadership council of 24 women was formed in 1993, women account for half of the NLA's troops, and Maryam Rajavi, the wife of Massoud Rajavi, is reported to be the deputy commander-in-chief as well as secretary general of the Mujahedeen (AFP, 10 July 1995). In July 1995 Iranian troops reportedly launched a rocket attack against the group's bases inside Iraq which, according to the PMOI leader, was "the 34th military or terrorist attack staged by the Iranian regime against the Mujahedeen . . . since the start of 1993" (AFP, 9 July 1995)

Communist Opposition Movements

The Iranian communist opposition groups still in existence reportedly have offices in Europe and North America and are seen as having little significance as an alternative or a threat to the Islamic regime (Hooglund, 30 March 1993). The most prominent among these groups are said to be:

People's Fighters (Fedayin-e-Khalq)

The group was active in the overthrow of the Shah's regime, and its spokesman is Mr. Farrakh Negahdar. It is described as an urban Marxist guerrilla force that initially supported the Islamic revolution but subsequently broke with the government over the party's demands for democratic institutions (The Middle East and North Africa 1995, 455; Revolutionary and Dissident Movements, 1991, 148).

Organization Struggling for the Freedom of the Working Class (Peykar - Sazmane Peykar dar Rahe Azadieh Tabaqe Kargar)

It was founded in 1975 as the Peykar Organization, it is described as an offshoot of the Mujahedeen.

It was originally Marxist-Leninist but was merged with Maoist elements in 1978, at which time it acquired its current name. By 1982 it was confined to conducting guerrilla attacks in the north of the Iran (Abrahamiam, 1989, 145; The Middle East and North Africa 1995, 455).

Tudeh Party

The group was founded in 1941 and is led by Ali Khavari. It has reportedly held a "pro-Moscow line." It initially supported the Islamic revolution, but subsequently distanced itself from the regime as the latter became more committed to Islamic fundamentalism. In 1983, the party was officially proscribed when the government declared that "any activity in favour of it will be regarded as illegal and counter- revolutionary" (Revolutionary and Dissident Movements, 1991, 150).

The Kurdish Opposition

The Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI)

It was founded after World War II, as a splinter of an Association for the Resurrection of Kurdistan, the party was practically liquidated when a Kurdish rebellion was crushed in 1966-67. It was reinstituted after 1973, when Dr. Abd ar-Rahman Qasemlu was elected the party's Secretary- General. At present, the party is led by its Secretary-General, Moustapha Hedjri. The KDPI is the largest and best organized of the Kurdish opposition groups, and seeks autonomy for the Kurds in Iran. It operates from its bases in Iraq against the Islamic regime (Le Monde, 18 March 1993). In the early 1980s a measure of autonomy in the Kurdish areas of western Iran was achieved following clashes between KDPI guerrillas and Revolutionary Guards, resulting in the latter's withdrawal from Mahabad, Sanandaj and Kamyaran, until a renewed government offensive which allegedly left 1,000 Kurds and 500 government troops dead (Revolutionary and Dissident Movements, 1991, 153). In the 1990s armed clashes have continued between KDPI and government forces, including bombing attacks against Iranian Kurds, both in western Iran and inside Iraqi territory (Libération, 10 May 1993; The Independent, 10 November 1994). Two KDPI leaders, Abdul Rahman Qassemlou and his successor, Sadik Sharafkindi, were assassinated, in Vienna in 1989 and in Berlin in 1992, respectively, while attempting to hold negotiations with the Iranian authorities over Kurdish autonomy (AP, 19 September 1992).

Komala (or Komaleh)

It was founded in 1969, and led by Ibrahim Alizadeh. The group favours autonomy for the Kurds in Iran. It cooperated briefly with the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (Revolutionary and Dissident Movements, 1991, 151). It is also known as the Revolutionary Organization of the Toilers of Kurdistan, it is said to be primarily active in the Sanandadj region (AFP, 7 November 1992). The group has reportedly waged guerrilla warfare against government forces since 1979 with the aim of achieving Kurdish autonomy (Revolutionary and Dissident Movements, 1991, 148).

The Monarchist Opposition - Babak Khorramdin Organization

It is described as a monarchist and strongly anti-clerical group. It has allegedly claimed responsibility for a February 1993 attempt to assassinate President Rafsanjani and for the "execution" of five Revolutionary Guards several days later (Hooglund, 30 March 1993; The Independent, 13 February 1993; Middle East International, 19 February 1993).

Kaviyani Banner of Iran

It is currently led by Manoucher Gandji. It calls for the restoration of the Pahlavi Shah dynasty and for the establishment of parliamentary democracy in Iran. Its main operations reportedly consist of broadcasts from its radio station, Voice of Kaviyani Banner of Iran, with studios at its Paris headquarters and transmission from Cairo (Political Parties of Africa and the Middle East, 1993, 125; BBC, 30 September 1991).

Movement of National Resistance

It is founded by Shahpur Bakhtiar as a pro-monarchist political group. The group was allegedly involved in a failed June 1980 attempt against the Islamic regime (Abidi, 1989, 117). Subsequently, it reportedly called for peaceful demonstrations to demand free elections (UN Commission on Human Rights, 13 February 1991). Mr. Bakhtiar, described as a "fierce opponent of Ayatollah Khomeini", was murdered in his home in Paris on 6 August 1991 (Keesing's Record of World Events, 1991, 38409).

4.   The Human Rights Situation

4.1   The National and International Legal Framework

Iran became a State Party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol on 28 July 1976. It ratified the 1966 International Convention on Civil and Political Rights on 24 June 1974; the 1976 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on 24 June 1975; the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination on 29 August 1968; the 1973 Convention on the Suppression of the Crime of Apartheid on 17 April 1985; the 1948 Convention on the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide on 14 August 1956, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 13 July 1994 (UNHCR, RefInt Legal Databases, October 1995).

Iran is not a State Party to the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons; the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness; the Convention on the Political Rights of Women; the 1974 Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, or the Geneva Conventions (Ibid.).

Iran's judicial system is based on Islamic law. Article 4 of the Constitution states that

All civil, penal, financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political, and other laws and regulations must be based on Islamic criteria. This principle applies absolutely and generally to all articles of the Constitution as well as to all other laws and regulations, and the fuqahã' of the Guardian Council [Council of Constitutional Guardians] are judges in this matter (Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 24 October 1979, as amended to 28 July 1989).

As reported by the U.S.-based Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Shi'ite tradition holds that the sources of Islamic law are "the Qur'an and the Sunna, with reference as necessary to secondary or dependent sources, Ijma and Aql" (1993, 8). The Qur'an is regarded as "the holy book of Muslims . . . the words of God revealed to Mohammed" whose short revelations are open to interpretation, while Sunna means "a manner of acting, a rule of conduct, a mode of life"; when there are contradictions between the two, the Qur'an prevails. Ijma is referred to as "the consensus of the community expressed through its competent religious representatives . . . which might change with circumstances". When resolution of a problem is not achieved through either of the three above, then there is a recourse to Aql, a process whereby "jurists must derive an appropriate rule by logical inferences and analogy" (Ibid.).

4.2   General Respect for Human Rights

Freedom of Expression

Iran is a signatory to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights . Its Article 19 provides for the right of everone to "hold opinions without interference" (UNHCR RefInt Database). Although Article 23 of the Constitution states that "inquisition into people's opinions shall be offended or brought to account merely for having a certain opinion, Article 24 stipulates that "the Press and Publications shall be freee in their writings unless such writings are detrimental to the foundations of Islam or the rights of the people. The law shall decide on the application of this Article."

US Department of State in 1997 reported that "the government restricts freedom of speech and the press. The government exerts strong control over most media, particularly publications. Some newspapers are associated with factions in the Government. They reflect different views and criticize the Government, but are prohibited from critizing the concept of Islamic government or promoting the rights of ethnic minorities (US Department of State, 1996 Report, 6).

Human Rights Watch/Middle East (August 1993, 5) states that it is difficult to define the limits of freedom of expression in Iran as "it is not possible to trace censorship to any single source within the government structure . . . there often exists no regulation relevant to the ‘offense' at hand, and in a given case the Anti-Narcotics Section of the Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor, the Ministry of Intelligence, a state-affiliated newspaper or a semi-autonomous foundation has as much de facto power to monitor expression as the government's designated official for this function, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance." Moreover, the government reportedly makes use of various non-state agents to enforce its censorship policies, such as "unchecked vigilante attacks against the press and publishing houses", or even against officials attempting to defend freedom of expression, reportedly resulting in an atmosphere where state or self-censorship is inevitable: "the hands of the government need descend on relatively few to silence many others" (Ibid.).

Human Rights Watch further reported the arrest of Abbas Abdi, editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Salam, which had allegedly become "increasingly critical of government policy", and the summoning before the Special Clerical Court of its publisher, the prominent cleric Musavi-Kho'iniha, as well as Mehdi Nassiri, editor- in-chief of the daily Keyhan, both on charges of slander (World Report 1994, 288).

In June 1995 the offices of the radical weekly Peyam-e-Daneshjou, reported to have acquired a large following because of its criticism of leading government figures, were allegedly ransacked by unknown armed persons (La Lettre de reporters sans frontières, July-August 1995). On 31 July 1995, the Ministry of Culture reportedly ordered the closing of Peyam-e- Daneshjou (Student's Message) for publishing articles "incompatible with the country's press law" (Middle East Times, 6-12 August 1995). This incident, the second since the closure in February 1995 of the daily Jahan-e-Islam, was seen as "another setback for Iranian radical newspapers, which are among the few to publish independent information" (Ibid.). In August 1995 the premises of a publishing house and book shop, Morghe-e Amin, were allegedly damaged by a fire bomb (Reuters, 25 August 1995), an attack said to have been supported by a senior ayatollah because the house had published a book deemed immoral (Ibid.). The attack, which was reportedly condemned by 43 publishing companies, was also said to have sparked debate between Islamic hardliners and moderates (AFP, 14 September 1995). The book, "And God Laughs on Mondays" had been banned by the Culture Ministry and removed from book shops after hostile reviews in hardline newspapers, which accused its author, Mohammad Reza Koshbin Khoshnazar, of promoting "decadent Western values" (Reuters, 25 August 1995; AFP, 14 September 1995). In October 1995, hundreds of Hezbollah militants reportedly prevented a lecture by a prominent Islamic reformist philosopher, Abdolkarim Sorush, an advocate of "a democratic Islam where the clergy does not have a monopoly of power" (Reuters, 12 October 1995).

Amnesty International reported the arrest in March 1994 of a well-known poet and satirical writer Ali Akbar Sa'idi-Sirjani after writing open letters to the government objecting to censorship (AI, 1995 Report, 164). The official charge was that of drug abuse, brawing alcohol, and homosexual acts. Mr. Sirjani was allegedly held in incommunicado detention until 27 November 1994, when he was reported by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) to have died of a heart attack in an unnamed Tehran hospital (Ibid.). The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Iran referred to a 25 October 1994 open letter sent to the authorities by 134 Iranian writers, academics, translators, artists and journalists calling for respect for freedom of expression and opinion and an end to censorship and protesting "against the frustrating obstacles and humiliating attitudes that have to be faced by those who do not respect the Government's dictates and against censorship and inadmissible prohibitions" (UN Commission on Human Rights, 16 January 1995). In 1996, the Special Representative reported that at least five newspapers were closed earlier in 1996 due to "procedures" that were said to have been inconsistent with Iranian law (UN Commission on Human Rights, 11 Feb. 1997, 10). Furthermore, the Special Representative also reported the disappearance and rearrest of the editor of Adineh, Faraj Sarkouhi on 27 January 1997 (Ibid, 10).

Abbas Maroufi, an influential writer and publisher of the now defunct magazine, "Gardoun," was sentenced to 35 lashes and 6 months in prison for "publishing lies" after printing a survey stating that many Iranians are psychological depressed. Another publisher Abolghassem Golbal of "Gouzarish," a monthly magazine was sentenced to 3 months in prison in January 1996 for printing a negative story on a state-owned fertilizer company (US Department of State, Iran Report on Human Rights Practices for 1996, 6).

In 1996, US Department of State also reported on government censorship to the film industry and academic freedom. Amnesty International in 1995 reported that any cinema showing films not considered is vulnerable to hizbollahi attacks and that the deputy Dean of the Law School at the University of Tehran, Dr. Javad Tabatabai, was dismissed after critizing a 1994 law recognizing the country's court system (1995 AI Report, 7).

The Special Representative also indicated that on 20 September 1994, "the Majlis enacted a law which prohibits the importation, manufacture, marketing and use of dish antennas for satellite television" (Ibid.). In addition to assigning the Ministry of the Interior and the volunteer Baseej militias the task of dismantling and removing antennas, the law "stipulates fines and confiscation of goods for persons importing, manufacturing and distributing such devices", with the penalty for a repeated offense being three to six years' imprisonment (Ibid.). In a September 1995 raid on three workshops in the suburbs of Tehran, police reportedly seized 226 satellite dishes and arrested 30 people (AFP, 14 September 1995; Reuters, 14 September 1995). The ban is said to have followed a campaign by Islamic hardliners to stop the advance of "'depraved' Western culture into Iran via the ‘diabolic' dishes" (AFP, 14 September 1995), and thus "safeguard the cultural boundaries of the country" (Index on Censorship 1, 1995, 241-2).

Arbitrary Arrest and Detention

Article 32 of the Constitution, states that "no person shall be arrested unless otherwise ordered by law . . . [and, if arrested] . . . the accused shall be notified in writing of the reasons for accusation and within twenty four hours the preliminary case shall be referred to a competent court . . . " The U.S. Department of State notes that "there is reportedly no legal time limit on incommunicado detention, nor any judicial means to determine the legality of detention . . . [and that] . . . the security forces often do not inform family members of a prisoner's welfare and whereabouts" (US State Department, 1995 Report). Amnesty International cites the cases of Abbas Amir Entezam, a former Government official, who claimed to have been imprisoned for 15 months before being told he was charged with espionage; Ali Bloori, arrested in 1982 in his final year of high school and charged with membership in the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, whose family did not learn of his whereabouts until 1994; of Houshang Amjadi Bigvand and his cousin, Jamshid Amiri Bigvand, arrested in 1988 by members of the Revolutionary Guards and confined to over one year in incommunicado detention, with periods of solitary confinement and torture, and with their families not being informed of their whereabouts until mid-1989, and of Morteza Afshari-Rad, arrested in 1989 for membership in the opposition political organization Derafsh-e-Kaviani (Flag of Freedom Organization) and sentenced to ten years' imprisonment by an Islamic Revolutionary Court (AI, 1995 Report, May 1995). The UN Secretary- General's Special Representative on Iran indicated that in December 1994 the Chief of the Prisons Department, Mr. Asadollah Lajervardi, stated that there were 100,481 inmates in Iranian prisons, over half of them being drug traffickers and drug addicts, some belonging to opposition political groups, about 4,000 women and 3,776 persons of Afghan nationality (UN Commission on Human Rights, 16 January 1995).

Torture

In 1996, Amnesty International stated that there continue to be reports of torture or ill-treatment of prisoners and detainees and reported that at least three people reportedly died in custody, or shortly after release, possibly as a result of torture or ill-treatment (AI 1996, 180). The Special Representative, in his 1997 report, stated that there remained widespread allegations that the practice of using torture "for the purpose of extracting confessions or gaining information." It should be pointed out that Article 38 of the Constitution prohibits such practices. It added that "cruel inhuman or degrading punishments, including flogging and amputation remained in force" (AI 1996, 180). Women were said to be frequent victims of flogging, especially for violating the dress code (AI 1995, 164). The Special Representative on Iran points out that the body of the Jewish leader, Mr. Feizollah Mekhoubad, who had been executed in February 1994 "bore signs of torture, including a disfigured face, bruises probably caused by blows, broken teeth and contusions on various parts of the body" (UN Commission on Human rights, 16 January 1995).

Death Penalty

According to Amnesty International, since the start of the Islamic Revolution thousands of government opponents have been executed, and the death penalty is widely used for offenses such as espionage, for activities deemed to be "against the Islamic Republic of Iran" which often means membership in an opposition political group, for drug trafficking, adultery and murder (AI 1996, 180). The Special Representative on Iran adds that some external reports have asserted that the number in 1996 wre twice those of 1995. (were either murdered or attacked by people suspected to be connected with the Iranian authorities (Ibid.). Other government opponents in exile are also believed to have been killed by Iranians linked to the Iranian authorities in Romania, Switzerland, France, Germany and Austria (UN Commission on Human Rights 16 January 1995).

Extralegal Execution

According to the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Iran, the Majlis enacted a law in September 1994 authorizing members of the security forces and the Baseej militias to fire at demonstrators in order to "restore law and order during illegal armed rallies, at times of unrest and during illegal armed disorders and revolts" (UNCHR, 16 January 1995). The law also allowed shooting at vehicles suspected of carrying fugitives, stolen goods, contraband or narcotics, with members of the security forces and the Baseej allegedly exempted from any civil or criminal court indictement for doing so (Ibid.). According to some observers, the war against drugs also "has led to thousands of summary executions" since September 1990 (LCHR, 1992, 159). In May 1995, Amnesty International reported that in the last 18 months four prominent leaders of religious groups, three Christians and one Sunni Muslim and all known to be critical of government policies, were found dead under suspicious circumstances (Official secrecy hides continuing repression, May 1995). The organization also indicates that extrajudicial executions may have been carried out against political opponents outside the country it cites as examples the cases of Kurdish members of the KDPI in Turkey, Iraq, Sweden, who Amnesty International, members of the Baluchis were among representatives of ethnic minorities held as political prisoners following unfair trials in 1994 (AI, 1995 Report)

4.3   The Situation of Ethnic Minorities

Article 15 of the Constitution of Iran declares Persian as the official language of Iran, but adds that "the use of local and ethnic languages in the press and for the mass media and the teaching of their literature shall be allowed, besides the Persian language". Article 19 stipulates that "[t]he people of Iran belonging to whatever ethnic or tribal group shall enjoy equal rights and the complexion, race, language and the like shall not be considered as a privilege."

The Arabs

The Arabs of Khuzistan, whose numbers in Iran are estimated at 750,000 to one million, are said to have intermixed with many ethnic Persians, Azerbaijanis and non-Arab tribal peoples who moved into Khuzistan, Iran's largest oil-producing province, since the discovery of oil there in 1908 (Keddie, 1995, 140). There is therefore, allegedly "no large Arab-majority region that could be put together as an autonomous region having a significant Arab urban center", and expectations by some Arabs of greater autonomy after the 1979 Revolution turned to disappointment as the new government, while allowing for locally elected councils, did not include in its laws or Constitution provisions for the setting up of ethnic regions, nor did it allow much use of the local language in education and official bodies (Ibid.). Many Arabs are said to live in "exceptionally depressed conditions . . . [and although] . . . many . . . work in the oil industry, agribusiness, and elsewhere, most hold lower-paying jobs than non-Arabs" (Ibid.). Protests and incidents of sabotage of oil pipelines have allegedly been attributed to Arabs (Ibid.)

The Bakhtiaris

The Bakhtiaris, who are said to number about 600,000, are concentrated in the Bakhtiari mountains west of the city of Esfahan. They reportedly played an important political role in the 1905-1911 revolution, and in 1921-1924 "initiated the establishment of the federation of southern peoples" which was subsequently defeated and forced to submit to the central government (Encyclopedia of the Peoples of the World, 1993, 73). Although they did not become actively involved in the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the latter's introduction of strict Islamic revolutionary cadres on every tribal level is said to have caused "a drastic destabilization of the traditional ethnic structure" (Ibid.). The Bakhtiaris have traditionally taken Islam rather lightly, have had little direct contact with the mullahs, and are reportedly not prone to veil their women (Keddie, 1995, 146). Thus, "to the extent that [they] feel forced to follow the government's interpretation of Islam, they feel restricted" (Ibid.).

The Baluchis

The Baluchis are a people who inhabit the provinces of Baluchistan and Sistan in Southeast Iran as well as adjoining provinces in Pakistan and Afghanistan (EPW, 1993, 76), in a region known for its great aridity and also described as one of the most remote and rugged parts of the world (Keddie, 1995, 140; Minority Rights Group, Report No. 48, 1981, 3). While the great majority of Baluchis are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi school, since the sixteenth century a few are Shi'ites, especially in the Sistan area (Ibid; Keddie, 1995, 140). Baluchi nationalist revolts and movements allegedly existed in Mohammed Reza Shah's time, but since the start of the Islamic Revolution, when the government of Ayatollah Khomeini appointed a non-Baluchi Shi'ite Muslim as governor of Baluchistan-Sistan (Minority Rights Group, March 1981, 13), Baluchis have complained of being "ruled by the Shi'ite Sistan minority and began revolts that continue to this day" (Keddie, 140). In December 1979 Baluchi resentment reportedly flared up and three days of clashes with the revolutionary guards allegedly left 11 people dead and scores wounded (Minority Rights Group, 1981, 13). Since then, international human rights monitoring organizations have reported sporadic combats in this region, which official reports are said to attribute to "the fight against drugs" (Documentation Réfugiés, 15-28 mars 1994). In 1993, as part of its efforts to stem the activities of "paramilitary groups in Sistan- Baluchistan", the Iranian authorities reportedly reached an agreement with Pakistan on tightening up their common border in Baluchistan, thereby hampering the traffic in drugs across the border which was believed to be the Baluchi militants' main source of income (Middle East International, 24 June 1994). According to UN Commission on Human Rights, 11 Feb 1997). Among the political prisoners reportedly sentenced to death in 1995 was Rahman Rajabi. Political prisoners executed in 1995 included Assad Akhavan, a member of the OIPF (AI 1996, 181).

The Kurds

The Kurds in Iran are believed to number approximately five million (Documentation Réfugiés, mars 1994). Their situation in Iran is said to be far from stable (Hushyar, 1992, 104-5), with the area in Northwestern Iran which they inhabit being under Iranian government control, in which living conditions are described as primitive, at best (AI, 7 July 1993). Since April 1993, Iranian government forces have reportedly launched aerial attacks against Iranian Kurds, even those operating inside Iraqi territory (Libération, 10 mai 1993), while Iraqi forces made armed incursions into the "protected zone" inside Iraq above the 36th parallel (Libération, 14 mai 1993). According to Moustapha Hedjri, Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), the Iranian government's intention was to sow discord among the Kurdish populations in both countries, provoking conflict among them and thus preventing the creation of a politically autonomous Kurdistan (Ibid.). According to a spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the incursions were part of Iran's "resolute" reaction to armed forays by "groups of counter-revolutionaries [who have] made life unsafe for Iranians living near the Iran-Iraq border, especially in the north" (Reuters, 8 August 1993). New attacks by Iranian fighter planes were reported in November 1994, when they allegedly attacked the Iranian Kurdish encampment of Koi Sajaq, lying just north of the 36th parallel, or inside the air exclusion zone established by the Gulf War allies to protect the Kurds of Iraq (The Independent, 10 November 1994). Attempts made outside the country by the KDPI to negotiate a settlement on Kurdish autonomy with the Government of Iran resulted in the assassination of the KDPI's previous leadership. On 18 September 1992, the Iranian Kurdish leader, Sadik Sharafkindi and three others were assassinated in a restaurant in Berlin, where Mr. Sharafkindi had gone to hold secret autonomy talks with Iranian government representatives (AP, 19 September 1992). A previous attempt in 1989 also ended with the assassination of then-KDPI leader Abdul Rahman Qassemlou in Vienna (AP 19 September 1992). According to Amnesty International, the Government of Iran continued in 1994 to face armed opposition by the KDPI, and supporters of Kurdish organizations such as the KDPI and Komala were "serving long prison terms following unfair trials" (AI, 1995 Report, 163).

The Qashqais

A nomadic people located in the centre and southeast of Iran, near Shiraz, they allegedly number about 400,000 (Documentation Réfugiés, mars 1994). Traditionally rebellious against central authority and especially so during the Shah Reza Pahlavi's regime from 1960 to 1970, they have allegedly benefitted economically from the Islamic Revolution and a few have been invested with political and administrative responsibilities at the local level (Ibid.) However, the Islamic regime has allegedly deprived them of traditional cultural activities and, since 1991, excessive taxes have allegedly been levied on them (Ibid.). Moreover, their nomadic lifestyle appears to be questioned by some leaders of the regime (Ibid.). Another observer notes that there are internal struggles between young Qashqais, some of whom are allegedly affiliated with the "leftist-minority Fedayan", and their traditional leaders, the Khans, and their affiliates (Keddie, 1995, 145). The divisions reportedly reflect the class stratification within the tribe, ranging from the rich to the destitute (Ibid.).

The Turkomans

Information about the Turkomans in Iran is scarce. One of the smallest Sunni border tribes, they were known to raid and enslave Shi'ites in the nineteenth century, and their nomadic lifestyle apparently gave them a considerable amount of political autonomy (Keddie, 1995, 139). The land they live on is reportedly good for agriculture, and during Shah Mohammed Reza's regime some Turkomans grew rich from the cultivation of cotton (Ibid.). The 1979 Revolution appears to have elicited concerns about economic issues and discrimination by an increasingly Shi'ite state, and since then, "several armed revolts . . . often related to peasant attempts to take land, have been put down . . . [with many remaining] discontented with what they see as an uncompromising Shi'ite government" (Ibid.).

4.4.  The Situation of Religious Minorities

Articles 12, 13 and 14 of the Constitution set forth the official religion of the country, the recognized religious minorities, and the treatment to be accorded to non-Muslims: Article 12 establishes Islam and the Twelver Ja'fari school as the official religion of Iran, and accords full respect for other Islamic schools, including the Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanbali, and Zaydi. Article 13 recognizes the Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian religious minorities which, within the limits of the law, are free to perform their religious rites and ceremonies, and to act according to their own canon in matters of personal affairs and religious education. Article 14 calls for the respect of the human rights of non-Muslims as long as they refrain from engaging in conspiracy or activities against Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Moreover, Article 64 of the Constitution provides for the representation in the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) of members of religious minorities as follows:

"Zoroastrians and Jews will have one representative each, Assyrians and Chaldean Christians collectively will have one representative, . . . [and] . . . [In] case of increase of population of each minority after every ten years, they shall have one additional representative for each additional hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) inhabitants.

However, apostasy, or conversion from Islam to another religion, is not acceptable in Islamic law. As allegedly explained by the late Ayatollah Khomeini, there are two types of apostates: innate apostates and national apostates. An innate-apostate (one whose parents were Muslims and who embraced Islam but later left Islam), if a man, is to be executed and, if a woman, is to be imprisoned for life, but will be released if she repents. A national apostate (a person converting from another faith to Islam, and then reconverting back to the other faith), is to be encouraged to repent and, upon refusal to repent, is to be executed (A Clarification of Questions, 1984, 428-9). An Iranian newspaper article on the subject attributed the following writing to Imam Sadegh, as retold by Ayatollah Mohammad Gilani, Islamic judge of the Central Islamic Revolutionary [a]s for any Muslim whatsoever, who rejects the religion of Islam and denies the prophetic message of the Prophet of Islam, the spilling of his blood is permissible for anyone who hears of it and from the day of his apostasy his wife is forbidden to him and must be separated from him and it is forbidden for her to sleep with him and his property should be divided among his heirs and his wife should perform the uddeh of death (observe the period after a divorce or death from a husband) and it is for the Imam to slay him and give him no opportunity of repentance (International Iran Times, 31 December 1982).

The most prominent cases of apostasy appear to occur from Islam to Christianity and a number of cases have been reported where especially proselytizing apostates, i.e. converts who have begun preaching Christianity are likely to face execution, as was the case with Evangelical church leader Mehdi Dibaj, Bishop Haik Hovsepian Mehr, and the Reverend Tatavous Mikaelian, all said to have been killed between 1993and 1994 (IHT, 2 August 1994; MEI, 22 July 1994; AI, May 1995).

The Special Representative, in his 1997 report, mentioned that "it has been reported that Hojatolislam Sheikh Faadhel Faadheli disappeared from his house in Qom in early September 1996. According to the Special Representative, the best estimate is that 17 clerics are under detention (UNCHR, 11 Feb. 1997, 8).

Baha'is

The Baha'is, who are said to number between 150,000 and 300,000, are not among the protected religious minorities in Iran. They are believed to descend from a group that broke off from Islam in the 1840s, and the location of their international headquarters in Israel, despite their officially neutral position in the Arab-Israeli conflict, allegedly renders them suspect before the authorities (Keddie, 1995, 150). Baha'is are said to have no rights as Iranian citizens, with some individuals claiming to have been counselled to renounce their faith in order to "restore their rights as citizens and terminate the disabilities under which they live" (Minority Rights Group, 1992, 1). While anti-Baha'i sentiment has been traditionally strong in Iran, it allegedly increased since 1979, resulting in nearly 200 executions of its leaders by 1985, the confiscation of their property, looting and arson (WDM, 1990, 181). In his 1997 report, the Special Representative mentioned that he had continued to receive reports of cases of grave breaches of the human rights of the Baha'is in Iran and of situations of discrimination against the numbers of this religious community including arbitary detention, refusal of entry to universities, dismissals from employment and confiscation of properties (UN Commission on Human Rights, 11 Feb., 1997, 11). Moreover, in contravention or Articles 28 and 43 of the Constitution conferring on all Iranian citizens the right of economic pursuits and employment to earn a decent living, many Baha'is have reportedly been denied retirement pensions and work permits, unemployment benefits, business and commercial licenses (Minority Rights Group, 1992, 2). Some Baha'is dismissed from jobs in the public sector were required to return the salaries and pensions received while they were working, and Baha'i farmers reportedly continue to be denied access to farm cooperatives, which deprives them of their only access to credits, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides (UNCHR, 16 January 1995, 22). In May 1995 two Baha'is, Bihnam Mithaqi and Kayvan Kahlajabadi, arrested in 1989 and held without charge or trial until 1993 when an Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced them to death, were reportedly still being held in detention at an unknown location (AI, May 1995).

Christians

Christians are one of the religious minorities protected under Article 13 of the Constitution, and Article 64 provides for the representation of the Assyrian and Chaldean Christians in the Majlis. However, in its annual report covering events in 1994, Human Rights Watch stated that "the government mounted a fierce campaign against the small Christian minority. Churches have been shut down, scores of young Christians -- many of them converts from Islam -- have been imprisoned and tortured, especially in the cities of Gorgan and Kermanshah" (World Report 1995). The U.S. Department of State reported that "Christian . . . minorities suffer varying degrees of officially sanctioned discrimination, particularly in the areas of employment, education and public accommodations . . . [and that] . . . Muslims who convert to Christianity also suffer from discrimination" (1995 Country Report). According to Middle East Concern, discriminatory practices against Christians include incidents such as (1) the demotion by the military's Religious Control Unit of some Christian conscripts on the grounds that "no Muslim should salute a Christian . . . [and] . . . no Christian should be in a position where he may have access to confidential information", or (2) sermons by Islamic clerics, such as the Ayatollah Ahmed Jannati's 2 December 1994 broadcast over Tehran radio describing Christianity as "truly lacking in divine and religious spirituality . . . and an arid and useless movement . . . a lifeless corpse" (Middle East Concern, 1995). Converts to Christianity are especially likely to suffer harassment and/or execution. There have been a number of reports of threats and torture of known converts and the execution for apostasy of several pastors has been widely reported in the international press. In August 1994, the International Herald Tribune, reporting on the increased harassment of Christians in Iran, stated that the Armenian Christians have suffered less pressure because they conduct their services in Armenian and also avoid contact with "some dozen evangelical denominations that preach in Persian" (2 August 1994). The same source added that "the Assemblies of God church, which has 8,000 members in Iran and is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri is the most active in the evangelical movement and is the main target of the crackdown" (Ibid.). According to the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Iran, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jarad Zarif, explained that "[we consider [some of the evangelical Christian churches] to be political organizations. If someone wants to start a political organization they must go through the process to obtain permission, as is the case for Muslims" (UN Commission on Human Rights, 16 January 1995, 11). In May 1995, Amnesty International reported that "over the past 18 months four prominent leaders of religious minority groups -- three Christians and a Sunni Muslim -- were found dead in suspicious circumstances" (AI, May 1995). The U.S. Department of State added that the Government of Iran "failed to provide adequate protection for [the] three Evangelical Christian leaders who were murdered in 1994" whom it had accused of seeking converts among Muslims (1995 Country Report). Various sources reported the victims to be Assemblies of God leader Mehdi Dibaj, who, after nine years' imprisonment, was sentenced to death for apostasy; the head of the Evangelical Council of Pastors in Iran, Bishop Haik Hovsepian Mehr, also a convert from Islam who had "campaigned relentlessly for Mr. Dibaj's release from prison", and a prominent Presbyterian minister, the Reverend Tatavous Mikaelian, who succeeded Bishop Hovsepian as head of the Evangelical Council (IHT, 2 August 1994; Middle East International, 22 July 1994; AI, May 1995). These incidents are said to have "plunged Iran's 300,000- strong Christian community into great fear" and an Armenian source has reportedly indicated that "for the first time since the Islamic revolution the Christian community is seriously worried and many are considering emigration" (Middle East International, 22 July 1994). According to Iranian Christians International, the organization continues to receive reports that converts to Christianity in Iran are victims of harassment or threats, even when they have left the country (September 1995).

Jews

The Jews are one of the recognized religious minorities of Iran (Keddie, 1991, 149). While a few leading Jews were reportedly executed after the 1979 revolution, public sentiment towards them appears to be closely linked to their perceived links to Israel (Ibid.). For example, on 25 February 1994, 77-year-old Feyzollah Mechubad, who had been imprisoned since 1992, was executed on charges of espionage for the USA and Israel (AI, 1995 Report, 7). The charges were allegedly based on telephone conversations he held with relatives in both countries (Ibid.). Thousands of Jews were able to leave Iran during and after the revolution, while those who do not have the means to leave are said to be apprehensive (Ibid.). There are an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Jews remaining in Iran, and they reportedly have one representative in the Majlis (parliament) as stipulated in the Constitution (The Jerusalem Report, 9 March 1995). The representative, Kuros Keivani, has allegedly indicated that there are no Orthodox Jews in Iran, and that restrictions on travel by Iranian Jews to Israel depend "on the political winds blowing in Iran at each particular moment" (Ibid.). Zionism, however, is said to be considered "a crime punishable by death" (Minority Rights Group, November 1987, 7).

Sabeans (Mandeans)

Also known as Mandeans and "Christians of Saint John the Baptist", the Iranian Sabeans are included among the recognized religious minorities (Keddie, 150). They are found mainly in Khuzistan, near the Iraqi border, reportedly work in agriculture and precious metals (the latter shunned by Muslims for religious reasons), and are said to be "neither numerous nor politically important" (Ibid.). However, according to C. Chaqueri of the Encyclopedia Iranica, "members of the Mandean faith, also known as Sabeans, are ill-treated and discriminated against by the Iranian authorities, given that they fall into the category of ‘undesirables'" (telephone interview, 23 January 1995).

Sunni Muslims

Iran's Sunni Muslims are found mainly among "all Turkomans and Baluchis, most Kurds, and some Arabs" (Keddie, 1995, 147), comprising about five percent of the total population of the country (Documentation Réfugiés, 15/28 mars 1994). In August 1992, following demonstrations in the city of Shiraz, one of the Sunni leaders in the province of Fars was reportedly arrested on charges of espionage for the United States and Iraq, as well as for adultery, and subsequently executed (Ibid.). More recently, tensions between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims have been exacerbated by the destruction of a Sunni mosque in Mashad which was said to have been "deliberately staged to fuel sectarian passions throughout Khorasan and Baluchistan" (Mideast Mirror, 11 February 1994).

Zoroastrians

Iran's Zoroastrians, including South Asian Zoroastrians (Parsis), are said to be a small community of several thousand, concentrated in the southern cities of Yazd and Kerman (Keddie, 149-50). While there are no known reports of "special persecution" against this group (Ibid.), in his January 1993 report on the situation of human rights in Iran, the UN Secretary- General's Special Representative on Iran referred to the situation of Zoroastrians as follows:

[S]ome Iranian newspapers have blamed the Zoroastrian community in Iran for the reported phenomenon of conversion of some Iranian Muslims outside Iran and have associated them with political dissidents. It was further said that Zoroastrians in Iran were afraid that any information about their problems and alleged restrictions would produce more hardship and that the authorities would consider that they were creating adverse publicity" (E/CN.4/1993/41, 28 January 1993).

Contemporary Religions notes that "[t]raditionally, Zoroastrians do not accept converts and favor marriage between blood relations . . . [and] . . . they do not proselytize" (1992, 385).

4.5   The Situation of Women

While Iranian women were heavily involved in the 1979 revolution, which many saw as an opportunity to rid themselves of imposed, alien western ideas about womanhood and to restore their identity, the new Islamic regime turned from the model of the Muslim woman as a heroic militant on the national stage in favour of the obedient wife and mother (Tohidi, 1991, 256-57; Nashat, 1983, 211). While Article 20 of the Constitution states that "[a]ll persons, whether men or women, shall be equal under the protection of the law and shall enjoy all human, political, economic, social and cultural rights with due observance of the Islamic precepts", Article 21 stipulates that "the government shall guarantee the women's rights in every respect . . . and shall proceed to . . . create a favourable atmosphere for upgrading the personality of women and restoration of their material and spiritual rights." One observer notes,

The clerical elite in Iran -- both hard-line and pragmatist -- have targeted women as an important social force. The hard-line clergy have advocated essentially repressive measures in the name of Islamic purity, while the more pragmatic clergy have supported moderately reformist laws, programs, and new institutions. The overall ascendancy of radical forces during the early phases of the 1979 revolution had a particularly deleterious impact on the lives of women. The pragmatic tendencies first identified in 1985, however, have grown considerably since the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989, creating a climate more receptive to reform on issues affecting women. Many extremist policies of earlier years have been overturned, while others coexist with more moderate ones, fueling contradictions in word and deed in the Islamic republic (Ramazani, 1993).

Gains in the field of education include increases in literacy rates for urban and rural women, in the number of female university students and in the number of fields of study available to women (UNICEF, February 1993; BBC, 13 March 1995; Ramazani, 1993; IRNA, 28 November 1993). However, 15 million out of 28 million women, or 57 percent, remain illiterate (Ramazani, 1993). There are also different restrictions applicable to single and married women: single women are not entitled to receive foreign study scholarships (L'Actualité, 15 mai 1993), and married women, while permitted to attend night school (Najmabadi, 3 November 1993), are not allowed to attend public secondary schools (Tohidi, 1991, 253).

In employment, a woman's right to work was affirmed by Ayatollah Yazdi, but noting, however, that "in the absence of a private nuptial contract specifying a wife's right to work outside the house or continue her studies, her husband had the right to deny these prerogatives (MEW, Report 1994, 289). Nevertheless, the choice of occupation allegedly depends on her husband, who also determines how she will be employed (L'Actualité, 15 May 1993, 43; Rhoodie, 1989, 381). He may prevent his wife from working if he deems that her choice of employment is contrary to the family's interests, although he must prove this to the Special Civil Tribunal (Afkhami and Friedl, 1993, 5).

One of the most publicized effects of the Islamic revolution on women has been the imposition of the Hijab: in March 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini first advised women to wear a veil (Afshar 1989, 44; Chafiq 1991, 126), since an unveiled woman represented the negative influence of western values on indigenous culture (Moghadam 1993, 88). In 1980 the dress code became mandatory, and is required to be worn in all public places regardless of a woman's religion or citizenship (Moghadam, 1993, 175; US Department of State, 1994 Report, 1178). Women's hair must be fully covered and their faces free of make-up (Rhoodie, 1989, 379). Contraventions of the dress code are punishable by either a verbal reprimand, a fine, or 74 strokes of the lash, or a prison term of one month to one year (League of Iranian Women, June 1993, 25; Rhoodie, 1989, 379; UNCHR, 28 January 1993). According to the U.K. Parliamentary Human Rights Group, the imposition of the Hijab has cost nearly 100,000 women their jobs because of their opposition to the new law, with about 40,000 teachers being dismissed on the grounds of being "unproductive" (August 1995).

After a temporary lull, the enforcement of the Hijab reportedly increased in 1993, when an estimated 800 to up to 5,000 women were arrested and taken in for questioning, and in some cases, flogged (Afkhami, 3 November 1993; Hoodfar, 4 November 1993). Arrests were reportedly carried out by the morality police, the Revolutionary Guards and the Baseej (L'Actualité, 15 May 1993; The Economist, 22 August 1992; The Gazette, 9 February 1993). Amnesty International has reported that in 1994 scores of women were reported to have been sentenced to flogging for violating the dress code (Report 1995, 165). Other sources cite the example of a 53-year-old woman whose headscarf slipped while she stacked groceries in her car, whereupon she was arrested and taken to prison, where she and more than 100 other women between 15 and 62 years of age were sentenced to receive 80 lashes (The Ottawa Citizen, 8 December 1994).

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Statistical Tables

Table 1   Total number of asylum applications and decisions (Origin: all nationalities)

Country

Status

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

Total

Austria

Applications

22,790

27,310

16,240

4,750

5,080

5,920

82,090

 

Conv. status

860

2,470

2,290

1,200

680

990

8,490

 

Rejections

11,780

17,220

21,200

14,200

8,340

6,630

79,370

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Belgium

Applications

12,960

15,170

17,650

26,880

14,350

11,420

98,430

 

Conv. status

680

600

760

1,040

1,510

1,300

5,890

 

Rejections

1,150

1,680

2,010

2,520

3,270

2,750

13,380

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Denmark

Applications

5,290

4,610

13,880

14,350

6,650

5,100

49,880

 

Conv. status

710

990

750

650

540

4,810

8,450

 

Rejections

0

0

0

0

0

3,500

3,500

 

Humanitarian

1,400

1,980

2,020

2,090

1,360

14,110

22,960

Finland

Applications

2,730

2,140

3,630

2,020

840

850

12,210

 

Conv. status

20

20

10

10

20

0

80

 

Rejections

330

630

1,340

1,440

490

270

4,500

 

Humanitarian

140

1,700

560

2,070

300

220

4,990

France

Applications

53,070

46,540

26,910

27,570

26,040

20,170

200,300

 

Conv. status

13,540

15,980

10,810

9,910

6,210

4,530

60,980

 

Rejections

74,510

65,780

27,580

25,580

23,810

24,430

241,690

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Germany

Applications

193,060

256,110

438,190

322,610

127,210

166,950

1,504,130

 

Conv. status

6,520

11,600

9,190

16,400

25,580

23,470

92,760

 

Rejections

116,270

128,820

163,640

347,990

238,390

114,380

1,109,490

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

3,630

3,630

Greece

Applications

6,170

2,670

1,850

810

1,300

1,310

14,110

 

Conv. status

170

120

60

40

90

200

680

 

Rejections

2,330

5,210

1,740

710

670

1,050

11,710

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Italy

Applications

3,170

24,450

2,490

1,530

1,430

1,750

34,820

 

Conv. status

820

1,200

340

130

300

280

3,070

 

Rejections

560

22,590

6,620

1,300

1,390

1,430

33,890

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Netherlands

Applications

21,210

21,620

17,460

35,400

52,570

29,260

177,520

 

Conv. status

690

780

4,820

10,340

6,650

7,980

31,260

 

Rejections

9,000

14,540

20,330

15,780

32,150

32,160

123,960

 

Humanitarian

860

1,920

6,890

4,660

12,690

10,520

37,540

Norway

Applications

3,960

4,570

5,240

12,880

3,380

1,460

31,490

 

Conv. status

110

100

60

50

20

30

370

 

Rejections

2,060

2,260

2,880

4,690

2,960

1,410

16,260

 

Humanitarian

1,220

1,640

1,040

470

1,770

910

7,050

Portugal

Applications

80

240

690

2,090

730

330

4,160

 

Conv. status

40 10

20

40

10

10

130

 

 

Rejections

50

50

0

600

1,700

550

2,950

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

40

30

70

Spain

Applications

8,650

8,140

11,710

12,250

12,000

5,680

58,430

 

Conv. status

490 310

540

1,290

630

460

3,720

 

 

Rejections

0

5,480

10,590

16,250

12,210

6,080

50,610

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

230

230

Sweden

Applications

29,350

27,350

84,020

37,580

18,640

9,050

205,990

 

Conv. status

2,170

1,400

620

1,050

790

150

6,180

 

Rejections

0

0

0

41,420

10,300

5,570

57,290

 

Humanitarian

9,220

15,510

8,780

34,720

36,560

3,540

108,330

Switzerland

Applications

35,840

41,560

18,130

24,110

16,130

17,020

152,790

 

Conv. status

570 880

1,540

3,830

2,940

2,650

12,410

 

 

Rejections

11,150

28,480

30,130

18,700

18,740

13,460

120,660

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

United Kingdom (cases)

Applications

26,200

44,820

24,630

22,350

32,830

43,930

194,760

 

Conv. status

910

490

1,120

1,590

840

1,280

6,230

 

Rejections

690

3,360

18,460

10,690

12,650

17,700

63,550

 

Humanitarian

2,370

2,190

15,330

11,130

3,650

4,390

39,060

Canada

Applications

36,740

32,350

37,750

20,290

22,010

26,070

175,210

 

Conv. status

10,710

19,430

17,440

14,100

15,220

9,610

86,510

 

Rejections

3,840

8,870

11,070

11,450

6,440

4,100

45,770

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

United States(cases)

Applications

73,640

56,310

103,960

143,120

147,610

148,890

673,530

 

Conv. status

4,170

2,110

3,910

5,010

8,250

12,680

36,130

 

Rejections

24,160

4,170

6,510

17,980

29,180

13,850

95,850

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Europe

Applications

424,530

527,300

682,720

547,180

319,180

320,200

2,821,110

 

Conv. status

28,300

36,950

32,930

47,570

46,810

48,140

240,700

 

Rejections

229,880

296,100

306,520

501,870

367,070

231,370

1,932,810

 

Humanitarian

15,210

24,940

34,620

55,140

56,370

37,580

223,860

Total North

Applications

110,380

88,660

141,710

163,410

169,620

174,960

848,740

America

Conv. status

14,880

21,540

21,350

19,110

23,470

22,290

122,640

 

Rejections

28,000 13,040

17,580

29,430

35,620

17,950

141,620

 

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Grand total

Applications

534,910

615,960

824,430

710,590

488,800

495,160

3,669,850

 

Conv. status

43,180

58,490

54,280

66,680

70,280

70,430

363,340

 

Rejections

257,880 309,140

324,100

531,300

402,690

249,320

2,074,430

 

 

Humanitarian

15,210

24,940

34,620

55,140

56,370

37,580

223,860

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 03-Jun-97

Table 2   Share of asylum countries in total number of asylum applications and decisions (Origin: all nationalities)

Country

Status

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

Total

Austria

Applications

5.4%

5.2%

2.4%

0.9%

1.6%

1.8%

2.9%

 

Conv. status

3.0%

6.7%

7.0%

2.5%

1.5%

2.1%

3.5%

 

Rejections

5.1%

5.8%

6.9%

2.8%

2.3%

2.9%

4.1%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Belgium

Applications

3.1%

2.9%

2.6%

4.9%

4.5%

3.6%

3.5%

 

Conv. status

2.4%

1.6%

2.3%

2.2%

3.2%

2.7%

2.4%

 

Rejections

0.5%

0.6%

0.7%

0.5%

0.9%

1.2%

0.7%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Denmark

Applications

1.2%

0.9%

2.0%

2.6%

2.1%

1.6%

1.8%

 

Conv. status

2.5%

2.7%

2.3%

1.4%

1.2%

10.0%

3.5%

 

Rejections

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

1.5%

0.2%

 

Humanitarian

9.2%

7.9%

5.8%

3.8%

2.4%

37.5%

10.3%

Finland

Applications

0.6%

0.4%

0.5%

0.4%

0.3%

0.3%

0.4%

 

Conv. status

0.1%

0.1%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

 

Rejections

0.1%

0.2%

0.4%

0.3%

0.1%

0.1%

0.2%

 

manitarian

0.9%

6.8%

1.6%

3.8%

0.5%

0.6%

2.2%

France

Applications

12.5%

8.8%

3.9%

5.0%

8.2%

6.3%

7.1%

 

Conv. status

47.8%

43.2%

32.8%

20.8%

13.3%

9.4%

25.3%

 

Rejections

32.4%

2.2%

9.0%

5.1%

6.5%

10.6%

12.5%

 

manitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Germany

Aplications

45.5%

48.6%

64.2%

59.0%

39.9%

52.1%

53.3%

 

Conv. status

23.0%

31.4%

27.9%

34.5%

54.6%

48.8%

38.5%

 

Rejections

50.6%

43.5%

53.4%

69.3%

64.9%

49.4%

57.4%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

9.7%

1.6%

Greece

Applications

1.5%

0.5%

0.3%

0.1%

0.4%

0.4%

0.5%

 

Conv. status

0.6%

0.3%

0.2%

0.1%

0.2%

0.4%

0.3%

 

Rejections

1.0%

1.8%

0.6%

0.1%

0.2%

0.5%

0.6%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Italy

Applications

0.7%

4.6%

0.4%

0.3%

0.4%

0.5%

1.2%

 

Conv. status

2.9%

3.2%

1.0%

0.3%

0.6%

0.6%

1.3%

 

Rejections

0.2%

7.6%

2.2%

0.3%

0.4%

0.6%

1.8%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Netherlands

Applications

5.0%

4.1%

2.6%

6.5%

16.5%

9.1%

6.3%

 

Conv. status

2.4%

2.1%

14.6%

21.7%

14.2%

16.6%

13.0%

 

Rejections

3.9%

4.9%

6.6%

3.1%

8.8%

13.9%

6.4%

 

Humanitarian

5.7%

7.7%

19.9%

8.5%

22.5%

28.0%

16.8%

Norway

Applications

0.9%

0.9%

0.8%

2.4%

1.1%

0.5%

1.1%

 

Conv. status

0.4%

0.3%

0.2%

0.1%

0.0%

0.1%

0.2%

 

Rejections

0.9%

0.8%

0.9%

0.9%

0.8%

0.6%

0.8%

 

Humanitarian

8.0%

6.6%

3.0%

0.9%

3.1%

2.4%

3.1%

Portugal

Applications

0.0%

0.0%

0.1%

0.4%

0.2%

0.1%

0.1%

 

Conv. status

0.1%

0.0%

0.1%

0.1%

0.0%

0.0%

0.1%

 

Rejections

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.1%

0.5%

0.2%

0.2%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.1%

0.1%

0.0%

Spain

Applications

2.0%

1.5%

1.7%

2.2%

3.8%

1.8%

2.1%

 

Conv. status

1.7%

0.8%

1.6%

2.7%

1.3%

1.0%

1.5%

 

Rejections

0.0%

1.9%

3.5%

3.2%

3.3%

2.6%

2.6%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.6%

0.1%

Sweden

Applications

6.9%

5.2%

12.3%

6.9%

5.8%

2.8%

7.3%

 

Conv. status

7.7%

3.8%

1.9%

2.2%

1.7%

0.3%

2.6%

 

Rejections

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

8.3%

2.8%

2.4%

3.0%

 

Humanitarian

60.6%

62.2%

25.4%

63.0%

64.9%

9.4%

48.4%

Switzerland

Applications

8.4%

7.9%

2.7%

4.4%

5.1%

5.3%

5.4%

 

Conv. status

2.0%

2.4%

4.7%

8.1%

6.3%

5.5%

5.2%

 

Rejections

4.9%

9.6%

9.8%

3.7%

5.1%

5.8%

6.2%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

United Kingdom

Applications

6.2%

8.5%

3.6%

4.1%

10.3%

13.7%

6.9%

 

Conv. status

3.2%

1.3%

3.4%

3.3%

1.8%

2.7%

2.6%

 

Rejections

0.3%

1.1%

6.0%

2.1%

3.4%

7.7%

3.3%

 

Humanitarian

15.6%

8.8%

44.3%

20.2%

6.5%

11.7%

17.4%

Total Europe

Applications

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Conv. status

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Rejections

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Humanitarian

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Canada

Applications

33.3%

36.5%

26.6%

12.4%

13.0%

14.9%

20.6%

 

Conv. status

72.0%

90.2%

81.7%

73.8%

64.8%

43.1%

70.5%

 

Rejections

13.7%

68.0%

63.0%

38.9%

18.1%

22.8%

32.3%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

United States

Applications

66.7%

63.5%

73.4%

87.6%

87.0%

85.1%

79.4%

 

 Conv. status

28.0%

9.8%

18.3%

26.2%

35.2%

56.9%

29.5%

 

Rejections

86.3%

32.0%

37.0%

61.1%

81.9%

77.2%

67.7%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Total North

Applications

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

America

Conv. status

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Rejections

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 03-Jun-97

Table 3   Total number of asylum applications and decisions (Origin: Iran)

Country

Status

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

Total

Austria

Applications

1,820

1,590

650

250

430

490

5,230

 

Conv. status

120

360

340

130

90

110

1,150

 

Rejections

460

940

670

1,180

630

520

4,400

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Belgium

Applications

180

170

120

130

110

100

810

 

Conv. status

50

70

70

40

30

10

270

 

Rejections

10

30

70

70

130

50

360

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Denmark

Applications

720

420

200

170

130

150

1,790

 

Conv. status

30

50

40

30

10

30

190

 

Rejections

0

0

0

0

0

70

70

 

Humanitarian

370

330

160

90

30

20

1,000

Finland

Applications

30

50

40

50

70

70

310

 

Conv. status

0

0

10

0

0

0

10

 

Rejections

0

0

0

50

10

10

70

 

Humanitarian

10

0

30

30

10

20

100

France

Applications

350

310

180

170

150

130

1,290

 

Conv. status

360

210

170

110

80

90

1,020

 

Rejections

170

190

150

80

40

130

760

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Germany

Applications

7,270

8,640

3,830

2,660

3,450

4,310

30,160

 

Conv. status

1,990

3,580

2,750

2,190

1,860

1,930

14,300

 

Rejections

4,050

2,960

2,550

2,360

2,110

2,030

16,060

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

40

40

Greece

Applications

400

150

50

30

100

130

860

 

Conv. status

20

20

0

0

20

40

100

 

Rejections

210

460

30

10

60

50

820

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Italy

Applications

40

30

20

30

80

110

310

 

Conv. status

10

20

10

10

100

60

210

 

Rejections

10

10

20

0

10

30

80

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Netherlands

Applications

1,720

1,730

1,300

2,610

6,080

2,700

16,140

 

Conv. status

260

220

1,010

480

280

300

2,550

 

Rejections

570

1,440

1,310

1,200

3,040

4,620

12,180

 

Humanitarian

40

120

440

430

1,320

1,080

3,430

Norway

Applications

450

240

130

150

160

160

1,290

 

Conv. status

40

30

30

20

10

10

140

 

Rejections

190

100

60

40

80

120

590

 

Humanitarian

190

90

30

10

60

70

450

Portugal

Applications

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Conv. status

0 0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

Rejections

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Spain

Applications

170

0

0

60

240

490

960

 

Conv. status

0

0

0

20

10

20

50

 

Rejections

0

0

0

60

180

250

490

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

10

10

Sweden

Applications

4,300

1,270

750

340

380

450

7,490

 

Conv. status

270

230

120

120

130

90

960

 

Rejections

0

0

0

290

220

300

810

 

Humanitarian

1,400

2,160

1,010

370

380

120

5,440

Switzerland

Applications

420

220

140

90

80

110

1,060

 

Conv. status

60 40

30

10

30

50

220

 

 

Rejections

70

290

350

290

50

60

1,110

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

United Kingdom (cases)

Applications

460

530

410

360

520

620

2,900

 

Conv. status

50

60

110

100

100

170

590

 

Rejections

10

10

60

60

120

150

410

 

Humanitarian

100

60

610

130

30

30

960

Canada

Applications

2,100

1,550

1,410

1,020

1,470

1,900

9,450

 

Conv. status

1,100

1,880

920

800

970

880

6,550

 

Rejections

110

190

230

330

210

200

1,270

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

United States (cases)

Applications

1,550

770

690

560

580

530

4,680

 

Conv. status

220

160

170

220

430

510

1,710

 

Rejections

290

90

70

160

240

120

970

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Europe

Applications

18,330

15,350

7,820

7,100

11,980

10,020

70,600

 

Conv. status

3,260

4,890

4,690

3,260

2,750

2,910

21,760

 

Rejections

5,750

6,430

5,270

5,690

6,680

8,390

38,210

 

Humanitarian

2,110

2,760

2,280

1,060

1,830

1,390

11,430

Total North

Applications

3,650

2,320

2,100

1,580

2,050

2,430

14,130

America

Conv. status

1,320

2,040

1,090

1,020

1,400

1,390

8,260

 

Rejections

400

280

300

490

450

320

2,240

 

Humanitarian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Grand total

Applications

21,980

17,670

9,920

8,680

14,030

12,450

84,730

 

Conv. status

4,580

6,930

5,780

4,280

4,150

4,300

30,020

 

Rejections

6,150

6,710

5,570

6,180

7,130

8,710

40,450

 

Humanitarian

2,110

2,760

2,280

1,060

1,830

1,390

11,430

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 03-Jun-97

Table 4 Share of asylum countries in total number of asylum applications and decisions (Origin: Iran)



Country

Status

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

Total

Austria

Applications

9.9%

10.4%

8.3%

3.5%

3.6%

4.9%

7.4%

 

Conv. status

3.7%

7.4%

7.2%

4.0%

3.3%

3.8%

5.3%

 

Rejections

8.0%

14.6%

12.7%

20.7%

9.4%

6.2%

11.5%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Belgium

Applications

1.0%

1.1%

1.5%

1.8%

0.9%

1.0%

1.1%

 

Conv. status

1.5%

1.4%

1.5%

1.2%

1.1%

0.3%

1.2%

 

Rejections

0.2%

0.5%

1.3%

1.2%

1.9%

0.6%

0.9%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Denmark

Applications

3.9%

2.7%

2.6%

2.4%

1.1%

1.5%

2.5%

 

Conv. status

0.9%

1.0%

0.9%

0.9%

0.4%

1.0%

0.9%

 

Rejections

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.8%

0.2%

 

Humanitarian

17.5%

12.0%

7.0%

8.5%

1.6%

1.4%

8.7%

Finland

Applications

0.2%

0.3%

0.5%

0.7%

0.6%

0.7%

0.4%

 

Conv. status

0.0%

0.0%

0.2%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

 

Rejections

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.9%

0.1%

0.1%

0.2%

 

Humanitarian

0.5%

0.0%

1.3%

2.8%

0.5%

1.4%

0.9%

France

Applications

1.9%

2.0%

2.3%

2.4%

1.3%

1.3%

1.8%

 

Conv. status

11.0%

4.3%

3.6%

3.4%

2.9%

3.1%

4.7%

 

Rejections

3.0%

3.0%

2.8%

1.4%

0.6%

1.5%

2.0%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Germany

Applications

39.7%

56.3%

49.0%

37.5%

28.8%

43.0%

42.7%

 

Conv. status

61.0%

73.2%

58.6%

67.2%

67.6%

66.3%

65.7%

 

Rejections

70.4%

46.0%

48.4%

41.5%

31.6%

24.2%

42.0%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

2.9%

0.3%

Greece

Applications

2.2%

1.0%

0.6%

0.4%

0.8%

1.3%

1.2%

 

Conv. status

0.6%

0.4%

0.0%

0.0%

0.7%

1.4%

0.5%

 

Rejections

3.7%

7.2%

0.6%

0.2%

0.9%

0.6%

2.1%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Italy

Applications

0.2%

0.2%

0.3%

0.4%

0.7%

1.1%

0.4%

 

Conv. status

0.3%

0.4%

0.2%

0.3%

3.6%

2.1%

1.0%

 

Rejections

0.2%

0.2%

0.4%

0.0%

0.1%

0.4%

0.2%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Netherlands

Applications

9.4%

11.3%

16.6%

36.8%

50.8%

26.9%

22.9%

 

Conv. status

8.0%

4.5%

21.5%

14.7%

10.2%

10.3%

11.7%

 

Rejections

9.9%

22.4%

24.9%

21.1%

45.5%

55.1%

31.9%

 

Humanitarian

1.9%

4.3%

19.3%

40.6%

72.1%

77.7%

30.0%

Norway

Applications

2.5%

1.6%

1.7%

2.1%

1.3%

1.6%

1.8%

 

Conv. status

1.2%

0.6%

0.6%

0.6%

0.4%

0.3%

0.6%

 

Rejections

3.3%

1.6%

1.1%

0.7%

1.2%

1.4%

1.5%

 

Humanitarian

9.0%

3.3%

1.3%

0.9%

3.3%

5.0%

3.9%

Portugal

Applications

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

 

Conv. status

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

 

Rejections

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Spain

Applications

0.9%

0.0%

0.0%

0.8%

2.0%

4.9%

1.4%

 

Conv. status

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.6%

0.4%

0.7%

0.2%

 

Rejections

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

1.1%

2.7%

3.0%

1.3%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.7%

0.1%

Sweden

Applications

23.5%

8.3%

9.6%

4.8%

3.2%

4.5%

10.6%

 

Conv. status

8.3%

4.7%

2.6%

3.7%

4.7%

3.1%

4.4%

 

Rejections

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

5.1%

3.3%

3.6%

2.1%

 

Humanitarian

66.4%

78.3%

44.3%

34.9%

20.8%

8.6%

47.6%

Switzerland

Applications

2.3%

1.4%

1.8%

1.3%

0.7%

1.1%

1.5%

 

Conv. status

1.8%

0.8%

0.6%

0.3%

1.1%

1.7%

1.0%

 

Rejections

1.2%

4.5%

6.6%

5.1%

0.7%

0.7%

2.9%

 

Humanitarian

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

United Kingdom

Applications

2.5%

3.5%

5.2%

5.1%

4.3%

6.2%

4.1%

 

Conv. status

1.5%

1.2%

2.3%

3.1%

3.6%

5.8%

2.7%

 

Rejections

0.2%

0.2%

1.1%

1.1%

1.8%

1.8%

1.1%

 

Humanitarian

4.7%

2.2%

26.8%

12.3%

1.6%

2.2%

8.4%

Total Europe

Applications

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Conv. status

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Rejections

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Humanitarian

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Canada

Applications

57.5%

66.8%

67.1%

64.6%

71.7%

78.2%

66.9%

 

Conv. status

83.3%

92.2%

84.4%

78.4%

69.3%

63.3%

79.3%

 

Rejections

27.5%

67.9%

76.7%

67.3%

46.7%

62.5%

56.7%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

United States

Applications

42.5%

33.2%

32.9%

35.4%

28.3%

21.8%

33.1%

 

Conv. status

16.7%

7.8%

15.6%

21.6%

30.7%

36.7%

20.7%

 

Rejections

72.5%

32.1%

23.3%

32.7%

53.3%

37.5%

43.3%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

Total North

Applications

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

America

Conv. status

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Rejections

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 03-Jun-97

Table 5   Share of country of origin in total number of applications and decisions (Origin: Iran)

Country

Status

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

Total

Austria

Applications

8.0%

5.8%

4.0%

5.3%

8.5%

8.3%

6.4%

 

Conv. status

14.0%

14.6%

14.8%

10.8%

13.2%

11.1%

13.5%

 

Rejections

3.9%

.5%

3.2%

8.3%

7.6%

7.8%

5.5%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

Belgium

Applications

1.4%

1.1%

0.7%

0.5%

0.8%

0.9%

0.8%

 

Conv. status

7.4%

1.7%

9.2%

3.8%

2.0%

0.8%

4.6%

 

Rejections

0.9%

.8%

3.5%

2.8%

4.0%

1.8%

2.7%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

RR

Denmark

pplications

13.6%

9.1%

1.4%

1.2%

2.0%

2.9%

3.6%

 

Conv. status

4.2%

5.1%

5.3%

4.6%

1.9%

0.6%

2.2%

 

Rejections

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

2.0%

2.0%

 

Humanitarian

26.4%

16.7%

7.9%

4.3%

2.2%

0.1%

4.4%

Finland

Applications

1.1%

2.3%

1.1%

2.5%

8.3%

8.2%

2.5%

 

Conv. status

0.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

12.5%

 

Rejections

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

3.5%

2.0%

3.7%

1.6%

 

Humanitarian

7.1%

0.0%

5.4%

1.4%

3.3%

9.1%

2.0%

France

Applications

0.7%

0.7%

0.7%

0.6%

0.6%

0.6%

0.6%

 

Conv. status

2.7%

1.3%

1.6%

1.1%

1.3%

2.0%

1.7%

 

Rejections

0.2%

0.3%

0.5%

0.3%

0.2%

0.5%

0.3%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

Germany

Applications

3.8%

3.4%

0.9%

0.8%

2.7%

2.6%

2.0%

 

Conv. status

30.5%

30.9%

29.9%

13.4%

7.3%

8.2%

15.4%

 

Rejections

3.5%

2.3%

1.6%

0.7%

0.9%

1.8%

1.4%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

1.1%

1.1%

Greece

Applications

6.5%

5.6%

2.7%

3.7%

7.7%

9.9%

6.1%

 

Conv. status

11.8%

16.7%

0.0%

0.0%

22.2%

20.0%

14.7%

 

Rejections

9.0%

8.8%

1.7%

1.4%

9.0%

4.8%

7.0%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

Italy

Applications

1.3%

0.1%

0.8%

2.0%

5.6%

6.3%

0.9%

 

Conv. status

1.2%

1.7%

2.9%

7.7%

33.3%

21.4%

6.8%

 

Rejections

1.8%

0.0%

0.3%

0.0%

0.7%

2.1%

0.2%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

Netherlands

Applications

8.1%

8.0%

7.4%

7.4%

11.6%

9.2%

9.1%

 

Conv. status

37.7%

28.2%

21.0%

4.6%

4.2%

3.8%

8.2%

 

Rejections

6.3%

9.9%

6.4%

7.6%

9.5%

14.4%

9.8%

 

Humanitarian

4.7%

6.3%

6.4%

9.2%

10.4%

10.3%

9.1%

Norway

Applications

11.4%

5.3%

2.5%

1.2%

4.7%

11.0%

4.1%

 

Conv. status

36.4%

30.0%

50.0%

40.0%

50.0%

33.3%

37.8%

 

Rejections

9.2%

4.4%

2.1%

0.9%

2.7%

8.5%

3.6%

 

Humanitarian

15.6%

5.5%

2.9%

2.1%

3.4%

7.7%

6.4%

Portugal

Applications

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

 

Conv. status

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

 

Rejections

0.0%

0.0%

ERR

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Spain

Applications

2.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.5%

2.0%

8.6%

1.6%

 

Conv. status

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

1.6%

1.6%

4.3%

1.3%

 

Rejections

ERR

0.0%

0.0%

0.4%

1.5%

4.1%

1.0%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

4.3%

4.3%

Sweden

Applications

14.7%

4.6%

0.9%

0.9%

2.0%

5.0%

3.6%

 

Conv. status

12.4%

16.4%

19.4%

11.4%

16.5%

60.0%

15.5%

 

Rejections

ERR

ERR

ERR

0.7%

2.1%

5.4%

1.4%

 

Humanitarian

15.2%

13.9%

11.5%

1.1%

1.0%

3.4%

5.0%

Switzerland

Applications

1.2%

0.5%

0.8%

0.4%

0.5%

0.6%

0.7%

 

Conv. status

10.5%

4.5%

1.9%

0.3%

1.0%

1.9%

1.8%

 

Rejections

0.6%

1.0%

1.2%

1.6%

0.3%

0.4%

0.9%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ER

ERR

United Kingdom

Applications

1.8%

1.2%

1.7%

1.6%

1.6%

1.4%

1.5%

(cases)

Conv. status

5.5%

12.2%

9.8%

6.3%

11.9%

13.3%

9.5%

 

Rejections

1.4%

0.3%

0.3%

0.6%

0.9%

0.8%

0.6%

 

Humanitarian

4.2%

2.7%

4.0%

1.2%

0.8%

0.7%

2.5%

Canada

Applications

5.7%

4.8%

3.7%

5.0%

6.7%

7.3%

5.4%

 

Conv. status

10.3%

9.7%

5.3%

5.7%

6.4%

9.2%

7.6%

 

Rejections

2.9%

2.1%

2.1%

2.9%

3.3%

4.9%

2.8%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

United States

Applications

2.1%

1.4%

0.7%

0.4%

0.4%

0.4%

0.7%

(cases)

Conv. status

5.3%

7.6%

4.3%

4.4%

5.2%

4.0%

4.7%

 

Rejections

1.2%

2.2%

1.1%

0.9%

0.8%

0.9%

1.0%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

Total Europe

Applications

4.3%

2.9%

1.1%

1.3%

3.8%

3.1%

2.5%

 

Conv. status

11.5%

13.2%

14.2%

6.9%

5.9%

6.0%

9.0%

 

Rejections

2.5%

2.2%

1.7%

1.1%

1.8%

3.6%

2.0%

 

Humanitarian

13.9%

11.1%

6.6%

1.9%

3.2%

3.7%

5.1%

Total North

Applications

3.3%

2.6%

1.5%

1.0%

1.2%

1.4%

1.7%

America

Conv. status

8.9%

9.5%

5.1%

5.3%

6.0%

6.2%

6.7%

 

Rejections

1.4%

2.1%

1.7%

1.7%

1.3%

1.8%

1.6%

 

Humanitarian

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

ERR

Grand total

Applications

4.1%

2.9%

1.2%

1.2%

2.9%

2.5%

2.3%

 

Conv. status

10.6%

11.8%

10.6%

6.4%

5.9%

6.1%

8.3%

 

Rejections

2.4% 2.2%

1.7%

1.2%

1.8%

3.5%

1.9%

 

 

Humanitarian

13.9%

11.1%

6.6%

1.9%

3.2%

3.7%

5.1%

            United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 03-Jun-97

Table 6a 1951 UN Convention recognition rates (Origin: All nationalities)

Country

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

Total

Austria

7%

13%

10%

8%

8%

13%

10%

Belgium

37%

26%

27%

29%

32%

32%

31%

Denmark

- -

-

-

-

58% -

 

 

Finland

6%

3%

1%

1%

4%

0%

2%

France

15%

20%

28%

28%

21%

16%

20%

Germany

5% 8%

5%

5%

10%

17%

8%

 

Greece

7%

2%

3%

5%

12%

16%

5%

Italy

59%

5%

5%

9%

18%

16%

8%

Netherlands

7%

5%

19%

40%

17%

20%

20%

Norway

5%

4%

2%

1%

1%

2%

2%

Portugal

44%

17%

100%

6%

1%

2%

4%

Spain

-

5%

5%

7%

5%

7%

7%

Sweden

-

-

-

2%

7%

3%

-

Switzerland

5%

3%

5%

17%

14%

16%

9%

United Kingdom

57%

13%

6%

13%

6%

7%

9%

Canada

74%

69%

61%

55%

70%

70%

65%

United States

15%

34%

38%

22%

22%

48%

27%

Europe

11%

11%

10%

9%

11%

17%

11%

North America

35%

62%

55%

39%

40%

55%

46%

Grand total

14%

16%

14%

11%

15%

22%

15%

Table 6b 1951 UN Convention recognition rates (Origin: Iran)

Country

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

Total

Austria

21%

28%

34%

10%

13%

17%

21%

Belgium

83%

70%

50%

36%

19%

17%

43%

Denmark

- -

-

-

-

30% -

 

 

Finland

0%

0%

100%

0%

0%

0%

13%

France

68%

53%

53%

58%

67%

41%

57%

Germany

33% 55%

52%

48%

47%

49%

47%

 

Greece

9%

4%

0%

0%

25%

44%

11%

Italy

50%

67%

33%

100%

91%

67%

72%

Netherlands

31%

13%

44%

29%

8%

6%

17%

Norway

17%

23%

33%

33%

11%

8%

19%

Portugal

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Spain

0%

0%

0%

25%

5%

7%

9%

Sweden

-

-

-

29%

37%

23%

-

Switzerland

46%

12%

8%

3%

38%

45%

17%

United Kingdom

83%

86%

65%

63%

45%

53%

59%

Canada

91%

91%

80%

71%

82%

81%

84%

United States

43%

64%

71%

58%

64%

81%

64%

Europe

36%

43%

47%

36%

29%

26%

36%

North America

77%

88%

78%

68%

76%

81%

79%

Grand total

43%

51%

51%

41%

37%

33%

43%

            United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 03-Jun-97



[1] Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

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