Asylum seeker granted refugee status on fourth try

9:04 pm on 17 January 2017

An Iranian man whose bid for asylum was turned down four times has been granted refugee status.

An appeals tribunal has ruled that he has genuinely converted to Christianity.

The man, who is now 50, arrived in the country in June 2011, but his asylum application was refused by the Refugee Status Branch, a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal and the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

They ruled his claim of being involved in a demonstration at a bazaar and converting from Islam was not credible.

But after a second application and another appeal, the tribunal ruled the man's faith was genuine and he would be at risk of arrest and detention in Iran.

It was told that news coverage of his earlier failed appeal, which appeared in media including RNZ News, would put him in further danger, were he to be sent back.