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The author of the communication is A. S., an Iranian citizen currently residing with her
son in Sweden, where she is seeking refugee status. The author and her son arrived in Sweden
on 23 December 1997 and applied for asylum on 29 December 1997. Ms. S. claims that she
would risk torture and execution upon return to the Islamic Republic of Iran and that her forced
return to that country would therefore constitute a violation by Sweden of article 3 of the
Convention. The author is represented by counsel.
In accordance with article 22, paragraph 3, of the Convention, the Committee transmitted
communication No. 149/1999 to the State party on 12 November 1999. Pursuant to rule 108,
paragraph 9, of the Committee’s rules of procedure, the State party was requested not to expel
the author to Iran pending the consideration of her case by the Committee. In a submission
dated 12 January 2000 the State party informed the Committee that the author would not be
expelled to her country of origin while her communication was under consideration by the
The facts as presented by the author
The author submits that she has never been politically active in Iran. In 1981, her
husband, who was a high-ranking officer in the Iranian Air Force, was killed during training in
circumstances that remain unclear; it has never been possible to determine whether his death was
an accident. According to the author, she and her husband belonged to secular-minded families
opposed to the regime of the mullahs.
In 1991, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran declared the author’s late
husband a martyr. The author states that martyrdom is an issue of utmost importance for the
Shia Muslims in Iran. All families of martyrs are supported and supervised by a foundation, the
Bonyad-e Shahid, the Committee of Martyrs, which constitutes a powerful authority in Iranian
society. Thus, while the author and her two sons’ material living conditions and status rose
considerably, she had to submit to the rigid rules of Islamic society even more conscientiously
than before. One of the aims of Bonyad-e Shahid was to convince the martyrs’ widows to
remarry, which the author refused to do.
At the end of 1996 one of the leaders of the Bonyad-e Shahid, the high-ranking
Ayatollah Rahimian, finally forced the author to marry him by threatening to harm her and her
children, the younger of whom is handicapped. The Ayatollah was a powerful man with the law
on his side. The author claims that she was forced into a so-called sighe or mutah marriage,
which is a short-term marriage, in the present case stipulated for a period of one and a half years,
and is recognized legally only by Shia Muslims. The author was not expected to live with her
sighe husband, but to be at his disposal for sexual services whenever required.
In 1997, the author met and fell in love with a Christian man. The two met in secret,
since Muslim women are not allowed to have relationships with Christians. One night, when the
author could not find a taxi, the man drove her home in his car. At a roadblock they were
stopped by the Pasdaran (Iranian Revolutionary Guards), who searched the car. When it became
clear that the man was Christian and the author a martyr’s widow, both were taken into custody

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