The supreme court has upheld an appeal by an Iranian asylum seeker against the rejection of his application, finding that it was based on unreliable sources like Google and Wikipedia.
According to the majority decision, the man, an administrator at an Iranian university, abandoned the country after feeling that his life was in danger because he had openly supported the opponent of the president of the country in the first round of the 2005 election.
“When he was sacked by the university over this, he sought political asylum in the Republic, but both the asylum service and the refugee review board that examined his appeal, rejected the application, deeming his claims as dubious,” the supreme court said.
The man appealed to the supreme court, which rejected his petition, prompting him to seek recourse before a five-member plenum.
His basic premise was that “during the interview and the examination of his application … the asylum service official was misinformed about the events taking place in Iran at the time since her information did not come from reliable sources but from unreliable ones like Google and Wikipedia.”
With a 3-2 majority, the court ruled that during the review of his first appeal, the judge did not examine, nor did they respond to the appellant’s wider claim regarding the lack of credibility and use of unofficial sources.
The court “failed to examine a substantive claim, bypassing it by adopting the review board’s position that the mistake was of minor importance.
“The credibility of an applicant goes through the credibility of the sources used to verify this credibility,” the court said.