CAT/C/66/D/776/2016

Prophet Mohamed. According to the Report, several people had witnessed the male
complainant engage in those acts.2
3.8
Islamic fundamentalism is increasingly present in Pakistan, and laws prohibiting
blasphemy are used to manoeuvre against religious minorities, notably Christians.
Christians are often falsely accused of blasphemy and when this occurs, their lives are in
danger if they are not under police protection. In March 2011, Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for
Minorities, was assassinated after having made a public statement in favour of revising the
law prohibiting blasphemy. Two months earlier, Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab
province, had been assassinated after trying to assist a Christian sentenced to death for
blasphemy. Most politicians and the majority of the public in Pakistan approved of these
murders. The situation has not improved since then, and the complainants’ claim that they
were accused of blasphemy and are unable to receive State protection is therefore entirely
credible.
3.9
The Federal Office for Migration and the Federal Administrative Tribunal
considered the First Information Report to have limited probative value because it was a
copy, not an original, and because similar reports could easily be obtained illegally.
However, First Information Reports are standard documents used to record criminal
complaints; it is impossible to obtain the original, which remains with the police. The
complainants provide a letter from Shazad Ahmed, a lawyer in Zurich, stating that a First
Information Report is a written document prepared by the police in Pakistan in response to
a criminal complaint, and that the originals may not be provided officially or unofficially.
3.10 During his interview before the Federal Office for Migration on 4 November 2014,
the male complainant stated that the police had given his brother a copy of the First
Information Report. He was then asked to produce the report, and asked his brother to
obtain it. It is true that it is easy to obtain falsified documents in Pakistan. However, this is
not the case for Christians and minorities. As a Christian, requesting a falsified document
from the authorities represents a risk to one’s life. Thus, the Swiss authorities are incorrect
to consider the report presented by the male complainant as lacking in probative value on
the basis of pervasive corruption in Pakistan. Moreover, the authorities acted arbitrarily by
requesting the male complainant to provide the Report and then asserting that it lacked
probative value. On its own, the Report suffices to demonstrate that the male complainant
runs a risk of being exposed to treatment contrary to article 3 of the Convention in Pakistan.
3.11 The Swiss authorities also wrongly rejected the other pieces of evidence presented
by the male complainant, in particular letters from church leaders. The authorities did not
examine their contents and merely deemed them to be letters of convenience lacking in
probative value. However, the church leaders specified in the letters how they knew the
male complainant and stated that they knew he faced threats.
3.12 The Swiss authorities erroneously considered it absurd that the male complainant,
who had worked at the Swiss Embassy in Islamabad for many years, stated that he was
initially unaware of the possibility of applying for asylum in Switzerland. While this
assertion may sound strange, the complainant stated to the authorities that he had
knowledge of asylum law, but that initially, he had not thought about applying for it himself.
This statement proves that the complainants initially wished to continue living in Pakistan.
They only decided to apply for asylum during their second stay in Switzerland, after the
female complainant had lost her handbag and the complainants’ passports in Basel.
Distressed, the complainants contacted the individual who had hosted them during their
first stay in Switzerland. He encouraged them to contact the authorities. While they were
perhaps naive in failing to contemplate applying for asylum during their first stay in
Switzerland, or at the beginning of their second stay there, this was by no means absurd.
Moreover, they described in great detail the circumstances of their second arrival in
Switzerland; this demonstrates that their narrative was not fictional.
3.13 While the Swiss authorities considered it illogical that the male complainant had not
informed the Swiss Embassy of the threatening telephone calls, he clearly stated that the
switchboard operator was aware of those calls and had warned the male complainant not to
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The complainants provide a copy of the First Information Report.
GE.19-13276

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