A few months back, our website reported about the case of Mr. Karrar Dwood Hamza, a well known Iraqi atheist who is in danger of persecution and even assasination. Karra arrived in Greece on 31 August 2017 and his arrival was registered on 4 September 2017. In October, the EHF, together with the Humanist Union of Greece and the Internation Humanist and Ethical Union drafted a letter to call on the Greek authorities to grant him asylum on the grounds that he is an atheist and that because of this, he is in danger in his home country.
Yesterday, on 5 February, Karrar was granted the refugee status and the decision makes clear that he stated that he is an atheist activist and that authorities concluded that he has a well-founded belief that he will be prosecuted or persecuted because of his beliefs.
The EHF rejoices at this news and is honoured that it could play a role in helping Karrar escape the tyranny of those who negate the fundamental human rigths of freedom of thought, freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression!
You can read the entire letter sent in October below.
To the Regional Asylum Unit of Kos
85301 Pyli, Kos, Greece
E-mail: [email protected]
25 October 2017
The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) and the European Humanist Federation (EHF), along with their Greek member Humanist Union of Greece (HUG), are herein strongly supporting the asylum application of Mr Karrar Dwood Hamza. He is born on 20 February 1987 and his case file number is 56,211. According to the information he provided, he arrived in Greece on 31 August 2017 and his arrival was registered on 4 September 2017.
Mr. Hamza comes from a Muslim country, Iraq. He is a well known atheist activist, with Arab Atheists and the Forum for Humanitarian Dialogue, a Facebook We are aware of his activities to promote the right to freedom of belief and expression in the Middle East and North Africa, and to combat Facebook’s censorship of Arab atheist pages.
We have received credible reports that he had been invited to speak at a July 2017 International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in London, the largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history, but, regrettably, hisvisa was denied. Soon after that, he was forced to flee Iraq because of several serious threats to his life, probably ensuing from the knowledge of this invitation. Such threats are a recurrent phenomenon in countries like Iraq, where “apostates” and atheist activists are victims of constant harassment and risk even assassination by Islamists, while governments there are unwilling and/or unable to guarantee the security and in the end the life of such activists.
For those reasons, there is credible danger of persecution or even assassination of Mr Hamza in Iraq. We therefore urge Greek authorities to grant him asylum and protection.
We thank you in advance for your consideration of our appeal.
President of IHEU
President of EHF
Spokesperson of HUG