of Iran while their complaint was under consideration. On 24 February 2017, Switzerland
agreed not to take any steps to deport the complainants.
Facts as submitted by the complainants
X was born in Tehran. Following her parents’ divorce, when she was 2 years old, she
lived with her father, Y, and had no contact with her mother. Y did not remarry. During a
visit to see her aunt in Kermanshah, a town near the border with Iraq, X met her fiancé, Ramin,
whose family is Kurdish. Her fiancé’s father had been killed following the Islamic Revolution
and his mother had left the Kurdish region to live in Kermanshah after receiving constant
threats. Because of these events, X’s fiancé provided humanitarian aid to the Kurds at the
border. Made aware of her fiancé’s cause, X visited the area with Y several times in order to
donate clothing, money and other goods collected from friends. X took the risk of properly
documenting her activities, including with photographs, in order to raise funds from friends
and acquaintances.
During her last visit to Kermanshah, X stayed with her fiancé’s mother while he and
his friends handed out aid and donations. One evening, while the family was having dinner
together, a friend of her fiancé rang the doorbell, and her fiancé went outside to talk to him.
While her fiancé was outside, the doorbell rang again. Assuming that it was her fiancé, X
opened the door without using the intercom to check who it was. Four or five men and two
women whom they did not know entered. When Y asked them who they were, they hit him.
As soon as they had entered, the aggressors blindfolded and handcuffed all the persons
present and beat and insulted them. They then put them in a car and ordered them to crouch
down. X was taken to a cell, where, for a period that she estimates as having lasted between
15 and 16 days, she was questioned about delivering weapons to the Kurds in order to
overthrow the Iranian State. She was beaten, insulted and repeatedly raped by several men.
She was tortured, asphyxiated with a wet bag over her face and locked in a room before being
forced to sign a written confession. She was subsequently taken from her place of detention
and abandoned in a location unknown to her. A passer-by took her to the house of her fiancé’s
mother. A few days later, Y was released, after around 20 days in detention.
When X next saw her fiancé, who had managed to escape after having spotted the
men outside the house, he told her that he would have to hide and asked her for her diary and
the USB stick containing her reports and the photographs that she had taken during her stays
in the Kurdish areas. X was later informed that her fiancé had been arrested, the house of her
fiancé’s mother had been searched and her USB stick had been seized.
The mother of X’s fiancé insisted that the complainants should leave the country
immediately. With the help of a trafficker, X left the Islamic Republic of Iran for Europe, via
Turkey, and was reunited with Y in Switzerland a few weeks later. X applied for asylum on
31 October 2011 and was heard by the Federal Office for Migration2 on 11 November 2011.
Y applied for asylum on 15 November 2011 and was heard by the Federal Office for
Migration on 13 December 2011.
X was heard by the Federal Office for Migration for a second time on 3 September
2013. Regrettably, without psychotherapy, which she began with the Swiss Red Cross on 21
November 2013,3 X was not able, at this second hearing, to mention every aspect of her
detention, including her rape. On 8 August 2014, the Federal Office for Migration rejected
her asylum application without affording her another opportunity to give evidence, despite a
request from her psychiatrist.4 The Federal Office for Migration submitted that, although it
accepted that X had post-traumatic stress disorder, it did not believe that her condition had
been caused by the persecution that she had described. Moreover, X’s claims were not




The Federal Office for Migration became the State Secretariat for Migration on 1 January 2015.
X’s psychotherapist drew up a detailed medical report, which was submitted to the Federal Office for
Migration on 3 July 2014 and in which an explanation was given of the therapeutic process and X’s
symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, which included an impact on her behaviour and sleep,
dissociation and an inability to talk about the rape, her fear of men, her antidepressant use and suicide
On 8 August 2014, the Federal Office for Migration also rejected Y’s asylum application.

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