Sweden rejects asylum for gay teen who fears execution in Iran

Sweden has rejected the asylum claim for a 19-year-old gay teen who fears being executed in Iran. Mehdi Shokr Khoda, who also identifies as Christian, was forced to sign a document today (9 July) to say he has three weeks to leave the country. If he does not, he could be deported at any time.

Gay Star News has seen the rejection document by the Swedish Migration Court. He was rejected on the basis there is no ‘new evidence’ after previous asylum claims. Swedish officials, confusingly, have also said international media attention on his case is unlikely to be read in Iran.

Terrified of being deported to Iran and execution

‘I cannot live open as a gay in Iran,’ Mehdi told Gay Star News. ‘They won’t understand something about you. They will just kill you first.’

Mehdi followed his transgender sister, who fled to Stockholm from Iran a few years ago. Because she was granted asylum, he traveled to Sweden in 2017 in the hopes he would be given the same protection. At the end of last year, the Migration Board rejected Mehdi’s application as they thought he was lying.

They appealed the decision and went to court at the end of January 2019. In his corner is his partner, 23-year-old Carlo Rapisarda – originally from Italy. The two of them have been together for about 18 months. Carlo testified for their relationship.

‘They want evidence,’ Carlo said. ‘We live together, we love each other, we’ve known each other a long time. Isn’t that evidence enough? There’s not a scientific way – you can’t hook him up to cables and check.’

The couple also got a letter from the Swedish Federation for LGBT rights. It said: ‘There’s no doubt. Medhi is gay and in need of protection. ‘ They were once again rejected saying Mehdi was unable to explain his coming out process. Read more via Gay Star News