Germany says it will provide refuge to Iranian dissidents

2010/03/08

Published in German weekly magazine “Der Spiegel”, 8. March 2010
Source (German): http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,682361,00.html

The Federal Republic of Germany, as a “sign of solidarity”, intends to grant refuge to Iranians who can not return to their home country for fear of persecution. The Federal Ministry of the Interior expressed deep concern about the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic.

Injured protester in Tehran, December 2009 (Picture: dpa)

Berlin – Germany is going to provide refuge to Iranian opposition members who are not able to return to their home country for fear of persecution. This was decided on Monday, following consultations with the Foreign Office, said a spokeswoman of the Ministry of the Interior in Berlin. The decision applies to “substantiated individual cases”.

In order to ensure security for the persons concerned, the Ministry did not reveal any details about numbers or individual cases. The question who will benefit from this regulation is currently being discussed with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The Federal Republic of Germany is gravely concerned about the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic. The decision is meant to be a “sign of solidarity and support” to Iranians affected by the situation.

After the disputed presidential election in June last year, the opposition in Iran has not ceased to wage protests. Many people were killed or injured in the demonstrations. Numerous dissidents were arrested, and only recently the film maker Jafar Panahi was detained. The opposition accuses President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of massive electoral fraud.

kgp/dpa/Reuters

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