The Iranian asylum seeker Leila Bayat, who was deported from Norway on 8 March 2017, has received 80 lashes in Tehran. During the investigation of her asylum case, the Norwegian authorities didn’t approve the documents regarding Leila Bayat’s flogging sentence and denied her asylum.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the director and spokesperson of Iran Human Rights (IHR) said, “It is a shame that the authorities of a country like Norway, which has a reputation of respecting human rights and in particular women’s rights, didn’t provide a woman who had escaped flogging sentence with asylum and deported her back to Iran. In this case, Norwegian authorities didn’t fulfill their legal and human duty, and in the best case scenario, deported her to Iran despite having serious doubts about her flogging sentence. There were lots of evidence showing Leila’s flogging sentence was authentic but the Norwegian authorities ignored them. The Islamic Republic of Iran is to be blamed for the inhumane sentence of 80 lashes Leila received, but the Norwegian authorities have their share of responsibility in this case and must be held accountable for it.”
According to a close source, Leila Bayat received 80 lashes at branch 3 of the Section for Implementation of Sentence of Tehran’s Prosecution Office at 1 pm on Tuesday September 19.
Leila Bayat and three of her friends were arrested in 2007 and sentenced branch 3 of the 21th district Prosecution Office of Tehran to 80 lashes for drinking alcoholic beverages. They were released on bail of 7 million Tomans (about 1800 USD) and tried to change the sentence for two and a half years. Being disappointed, Leila together with her 5-year-old son sought asylum in Norway where they were denied asylum several times by the authorities of The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.
Leila Bayat was finally deported to Iran on March 11, 2017 and tried to have her sentence suspended which was unsuccessful.
“I told them (Norwegian authorities) the exact details of my case, but it was refused seven times. They claimed that the verdict, the warrant, my lawyer’s testimony, and everything I presented to them were fake and my case was a lie. They said that their expert at Norway’s Embassy in Iran had examined the documents and said that such a sentence would never be carried out in Iran. And in the end, they separated me from my 13-year-old son and deported me back to Iran,” said Leila to IHR.
She added, “Before returning to Iran, I was so angry about why I had to escape from my own country. But now, I’m angrier at Norway. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, we were sentenced to flogging because we didn’t obey the law, but I sought asylum in Norway and I thought that I would be safe there, which was far from true.”