CCPR/C/119/D/2338/2014 1.3 On 1 October 2014, the Committee, acting through its Special Rapporteur on new communications and interim measures, accepted the State party’s request to lift the interim measures. Factual background 2.1 The author was born a Sunni Muslim and belongs to the Tajik minority of Mazar-eSharif in Afghanistan. He has not been a member of political or religious organizations in Afghanistan, nor has he otherwise been politically active. Before leaving his country, he lived with his mother and brother and owned a shop in a market in Mazar-e-Sharif along with his associate, M. The author indicates that he and his spouse, P., met as neighbours, and that their relationship began in 2007. However, he learned that she had been promised to a powerful man, A.K., who was a police commissioner and a friend of the Governor of Mazar-e-Sharif. 1 Therefore, the author requested his mother to ask P.’s family for authorization for him to marry P., to prevent her from marrying A.K. P.’s family refused twice, because P. was a Shia Muslim and the author was a Sunni Muslim, and because she was promised to A.K. The author and P. therefore had sexual intercourse in order to force P.’s family to allow them to get married. 2 A few days or weeks later, A.K. attacked the author and threatened to kill him if he proposed to P. again. 3 2.2 In March 2008, approximately, the author and P. decided to leave Afghanistan. The author travelled to Kabul, where P. met him a few days later. Then they travelled to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Once there, the author tried to contact his brother, but the latter’s phone was not working, so he contacted M., who told the author that his brother had been arrested and subjected to violence by A.K. A month later, the author called his associate and learned that his brother had been released under the promise that he would find the author. The associate did not know where the author’s brother was. The author was also informed that P.’s father had gone to the shop to look for him, threatening to kill him, and that he left at the shop an arrest warrant against the author, accusing him of raping and kidnapping P. Subsequently, the author and P. travelled to Turkey. Once there, the author called M., who informed him that the author’s mother and brother had fled Afghanistan to the Islamic Republic of Iran, fearing further violent actions from A.K. In around September 2008, the author and P. went to Greece, where they were married by a Mullah. 4 They stayed in Greece for about three years. Given the bad living conditions in Greece, P. travelled to Italy with the understanding that she would go first, and that the author would join her once he had enough money to pay the smugglers. Four months later, as he had not received any news from his wife and did not know where she was, the author travelled to Denmark, where he entered illegally on 16 December 2011. 2.3 The author applied for asylum after entering Denmark. In his asylum application, he stated that he feared that, if returned to Afghanistan, he would be executed or sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape and kidnapping of his spouse, P. He also feared being killed or being subjected to violence by his spouse’s family, causing him irreparable harm, as he had left Afghanistan with his spouse despite her family having refused his marriage proposals.5 His request was rejected by the Danish Immigration Service on 23 March 2012. 6 He appealed the decision to the Refugee Appeals Board, which on 31 January 2013 upheld the decision of the Danish Immigration Service. The Board considered that the author had been incoherent and inconsistent during the asylum proceedings. The Board referred, for instance, to inconsistencies in the author’s statements regarding when he had learned that P. had been promised to A.K., when he had been attacked by A.K., and when he had sexual intercourse with P. while in Afghanistan. The Board thus did not consider any of those statements as facts. It also refused to take into consideration the arrest warrant submitted by the author, 7 as he had also contradicted himself regarding the way he had obtained the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2 See para. 2.3 below. See para. 2.3 below. See para. 2.3 below. The author has not provided the date of the wedding. The author does not bring these allegations before the Committee. The author has not provided the Committee with a copy of the decision. The author has not provided the Committee with a copy of the document.