All Countries Iran

2021 RLLR 102

Citation: 2021 RLLR 102
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: December 31, 2021
Panel: Deborah Coyne
Counsel for the Claimant(s): N/A
Country: Iran
RPD Number: TC1-13525
Associated RPD Number(s): TC1-13539 / TC1-13540
ATIP Number: A-2022-01778
ATIP Pages: N/A


[1]       MEMBER: These are the reasons for the decision in the claims of XXXX XXXX, the principal claimant, her daughter XXXX XXXX XXXX the associate claimant and her son XXXX XXXX, the associate claimant. They claim to be citizens of Iran and are claiming refugee protection pursuant to Sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.


[2]       The allegations are fully set out in the claimants Basis of Claim forms as amended. The claimants allege they face a serious possibility of persecution because of their imputed political opinion, as opponents of the regime and their refusal to comply with certain directives enforced by the Iranian authorities.


[3]       The Panel finds that the claimants face a serious possibility of persecution because of their anti-regime activities and their imputed political opinion as opponents of the Iranian regime. They are, therefore, Convention refugees under Section 96 of IRPA.


[4]       On a balance of probabilities, the claimants have established they are citizens of Iran based on copies of the passports in Exhibit 1.

[5]       Based on the testimony today and the documents on the file, including the three (3) claimants’ Basis of Claim narrative, the Panel has noted no serious credibility issues. On a balance of probabilities, the Panel finds the following allegations to be true. The principal claimant is an accomplished XXXX XXXX in Iran. As an educated professional woman, she has endured many conflicts with the conservative theocratic regime. She has defended women’s rights in many ways and has been harassed by Islamic authorities in her office and at the university where she was an associate professor. Among other things, her and her husband have also had to defend their two (2) children from the morality police, who have harassed and threatened them over the years, whenever they refused to comply with strict Islamic rules and regulations such as those concerning the dress code.

[6]       In or about May 2019, in particular, the principal claimant was detained, interrogated for hours, insulted and threatened and accused of encouraging women of being anti-regime and against Islam. And there was also another episode where she was helping out some protesters in 2019, during the anti-gas protest, or anti-regime protest relating to arising gas prices.

[7]       The principal claimant and her husband had sent both the associate claimants to Canada to study, to ensure their freedom from the deportations of the Iranian authorities. After the principal claimant’s ordeal, they decided to visit the children in Canada. The principal claimant stay from XXXX to XXXX XXXX XXXX2019, and then returned. After Iranian security shot down innocent civilians in a Ukrainian flight from Tehran in January 2020, in the wake of serious public protest, the children in Canada lost communication with their parents and were very concerned. The principal claimant feared even more for her security as sh continued to assist women in her office. And when she was denied a raise to which she was entitled at the university because of her activism and perceived anti-regime position, she decided it was no longer safe for her to stay in Iran. She returned to Canada in XXXX 2020 and stayed. Her husband returned to Tehran—he came back as well with her—and then returned to Tehran in XXXX 2020, without her and informed her after that the Iranian authorities raided her office and have issues two (2) summons (inaudible) appear in court and they continue to seek her out.

[8]       Both associate claimants submitted separate narratives outlining the dangers that they and their mother face if they return to Iran and continue to oppose the subjugation of women and the violation of their rights by the authorities. All three (3) claimants decided that their lives are now at risk should they return to Iran and submitted their claims for refugee protection in August 2020.

[9]       The Panel finds that the evidence with respect to the claimants’ imputed anti-regime opinion was internally consistent and plausible. There were no contradictions or omissions that go to the core of the claim. The allegations were supported by personal documents in Exhibit 5 and that the Panel finds credible. In addition to education and employment documents for the principal claimant, Exhibit 5 includes a support letter from the principal claimant’s husband, explaining in detail the reason why it is no longer safe for his wife and children to return to Iran. The Panel accepts the evidence as establishing, on a balance of probabilities, the claimants’ subjective fear of persecution because of their imputed anti-regime political opinion.

[10]     Okay, so now, the Panel is going to turn to the objective basis and the situation in Iran. The Panel examined the objective country specific documents in the April 16, 2021, National Documentation Package for Iran. The objective evidence supports the claimants’ subjective fear of persecution because of their imputed anti-regime political opinion. The US Department of State 2020 Human Rights Report, that is item 2.1, notes that the Iranian regime engages in political motivated violence and repression to suppress dissent in political opinions, subject people to arbitrary arrest and detention as well as unfair judicial processes.

[11]     And then, just paraphrasing—Significant human rights issues include executions for crimes not meeting the international legal standard of most serious crimes and without fair trials of individuals, including juvenile offenders, numerous reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings, forced disappearance and torture by government agents, as well as a systematic use of arbitrary detention and imprisonment, harsh and life-threatening prison conditions, hundreds of political prisoners, unlawful interference with privacy, significant problems with the indigence of the judiciary, particularly the revolutionary courts, severe restrictions on free expression, the press and the internet, including violence, threats of violence and unjustified arrest and prosecutions against journalists, censorship, etcetera, etcetera. And this is all just a quote from Item 2.1 of the NDP.

[12]     Okay, in other parts of Item 2.1, it gives more details about how the authorities commonly use arbitrary arrest to impede anti-regime activities, including by conducting mass arrest of people in the vicinity of any government activities, etcetera. This is found at page 15. Authorities held some detainees at times incommunicado, for prolonged periods without charge or trial and frequently denied them contact with family or to any access to legal representation. There is lots to say in Item 2.1 about political prisoners and detainees. Impunity remained a problem within all security forces. Human rights groups frequently accuse regular and paramilitary security forces such as the Basij, in committing numerous human rights abuses, including acts of violence against protesters and participants in public demonstrations. I think that is—The Panel thinks that is a good enough summary of the dangers which the claimants have already experienced in opposing the regime in Iran.

[13]     Okay, the Panel finds that the objective country documentation for Iran establishes that the claimants’ subjective fear of persecution because of their imputed anti-regime activity, is well-founded.

Briefly, Turning to State Protection

[14]     As the agent of persecution in the government of Iran, the Panel finds it objectively unreasonable for the claimants to seek the protection of the Iranian state and the Panel finds that claimants have rebutted the presumption of state protection with clear and convincing evidence.

Internal Flight Alternative

[15]     The Panel also finds that the objective evidence establishes that the authorities in Iran operate similarly throughout Iran, and therefore there is no viable internal flight alternative available to the claimants.


[16]     The Panel finds that the claimants face a serious possibility of persecution because of their anti-regime activities and imputed political opinion as opponents of the Iranian regime. They are therefore, Convention refugees under Section 96 of the IRPA, and their claims are accepted.