Directorate of Immigration Decision of 14 January 2004

1. Subject matter

Application for asylum and residence permit.

2. Application

The applicant says in her asylum interview that her parents divorced when she was 15 and the court gave custody to her father. She says that her father is a drug addict who makes his living by selling drugs and letting drug addicts stay at his place. She says that when she opposed this, her father hit her, locked her in a closet and sometimes strangled her with a scarf. She says that her father did not allow her to go to school. She says she has once attempted suicide. She says that her father tried to marry her off to a 40- year old, wealthy drug smuggler. She did not approve of this marriage for that reasons her father beat her up. She says that eventually she had to give her consent but she managed to leave the country with the assistance of her mother before the marriage was performed.

The applicant says that her mother got her a passport and her sister, who lives in Finland, sent her an invitation for the visa. She says she arrived in Finland with her mother who returned to Iran after a month. She says that she had decided already, when in Iran, that she would apply for asylum in Finland but she did not know how to proceed. She says that her visa was almost expired when she told her sister that she would like to apply for asylum. Her sister took her to the police station to apply.

The application has been amended with briefs written by the applicant, medical certificates and briefs written on behalf of the applicant by her legal counsel. According to the documents the applicant was unable to give a full account of her situation in the asylum interview because both the interviewer and the interpreter were men and talking to these men about her personal situation would have been too shameful. The applicant was also afraid that her case would become known by Iranians in Finland. She did not understand the concept and nature of confidentiality. According to the briefs and certificates, the applicant has been subjected in her home country to serious, long-term domestic violence and sexual abuse since she was approximately 14 years old. According to the briefs the applicant's possibilities to protect herself against these acts of violence were very limited because in Islamic culture the father has authority over an unmarried daughter even after she reaches majority, domestic violence is considered as a private matter in Iran, a woman needs four witnesses in a court and she would have been in danger of being charged for adultery or fornication for which she could have received a sever, inhuman punishment.

According to the briefs the applicant attempted suicide in August 2002. The physician at the reception centre gave a certificate on the matter, according to which she had been treated in a hospital between 27 and 28 August 2002 for overdoses of drugs. According to the psychiatrist's certificate she suffers from serious posttraumatic stress syndrome and depression and needs secure living circumstances and a stable therapeutical contact.

3. Decision

The Directorate of Immigration does not grant asylum to the applicant but issues her a fixed-term residence permit on grounds of need of protection (status A.3). The applicant is exempted from the duty to have a work permit because she has been issued a residence permit on grounds of need of protection.

4. Statement of reasons

According to the UNHCR's Handbook on the Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status a person who has been subjected to a violation of his rights by a private agent is primarily obligated to avail himself of the protection of the authorities of his country. The applicant has not done that and motivates her action by father's authority in Islamic culture, the practices of Iranian authorities and the difficulties of a woman to produce evidence in Iranian legal system. The information available to the Directorate of Immigration on the handling of domestic and sexual violence cases in the Iranian judicial authorities supports the applicant's view that she as no factual possibilities to receive protection from the authorities of her country.

According to the medical certificates the applicant is severely traumatised by her experiences in her country of origin.

According to the applicant she has not had any political or societal activities in her home country. The Directorate of Immigration holds that she does not have a well-founded fear of persecution pursuant to Section 30 Subsection 1 of the Aliens' Act. The Directorate of Immigration holds, however, that she is need of protection.


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