The case of Aideen Strandsson, the young Iranian woman who converted to Christianity and sought refugee status in Sweden twice is not unique. There are hundreds of people who may be deported to the Middle-East despite the fact that as Christians their lives would be in danger there, Tamás Wetzel, Ministerial Commissioner of the Prime Minister’s Office said on the Thursday morning programme of the public service television news channel M1.

The Ministerial Commissioner was asked about this in the context of the fact that Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén pointed out in his interview given to the newspaper Magyar Idők on Wednesday: if requested, the Hungarian State is ready to recognise as a refugee the Christian girl from Iran whose asylum application has recently been rejected by the Swedish authorities twice.

Mr Wetzel said: the relevant procedure can only be instituted at the request of the individual concerned, and also in the case of Aideen Strandsson, „this would be a regular procedure under the standard protocol ".

There is no information as to why the Swedish authorities rejected the woman’s application, it is all „very strange”. At any event, in the Hungarian procedure the authorities „would take account of circumstances of every kind", including national security criteria, the same as in the case of everyone else, he remarked.

He said: the top priority is to ensure that the woman should not be deported back to Iran. He pointed out: in the Middle-East even ancient Christian communities are in danger, they are tolerated at best, but if someone converts from Islam to the Christian faith out of their own free will, they may even be condemned to death.

The support policy of the Hungarian State is about the primary objective of supporting Christian communities in their native land, but if this does not work, those who convert to Christianity cannot be allowed to be sent back to certain death, and to be exposed to torture and degrading treatment, he said.

The Strasbourg European Court of Human Rights passed several judgements last year in which they condemned the given European country for intending to send back to Iran people who converted to Christianity, he added.

He highlighted: Aideen Strandsson’s case is not unique, there are hundred of others in a similar situation. He remarked: it makes one wonder that a person who changes their name, converts to Christianity, integrates into society, engages in employment and pays taxes is exposed to greater danger in a multicultural society than those who hide in the parallel society and take advantage of their refugee status.

Aideen Strandsson arrived in Sweden in 2014, and publicly converted to Christianity shortly thereafter. Her asylum application was recently rejected by the Swedish authorities for the second time, despite the fact that her deportation is contrary to the authorities’ own stated principles as well as to international conventions such as the Geneva Convention which expressly prohibits countries from deporting those seeking asylum should they face direct danger upon their return, the newspaper Magyar Idők reported, citing the European civil-society portal CitizenGo.

(Prime Minister's Office/MTI)