7 Jan 2011

Demonstrators at Iran protest win refugee status

1:52 pm on 7 January 2011

Some of the protesters who went to rallies in Auckland following the Iranian elections in 2009 have won refugee status because of their involvement in the demonstrations.

Five of six appeal cases last year that cited the protests were successful, including one man on his third appeal.

At least a dozen asylum-seekers cited YouTube and television footage of them at the rallies as part of the reason they feared persecution if they returned to Iran.

Immigration lawyer David Masouri-Rad says the demonstrations were a spontaneous reaction to the events in Iran.

The appeals board decided the applicants had not attended the protests just to bolster their applications, so had not breached a good faith clause in the rules.