Constitutional Court rejects deportation of Iranian journalist

Esmaeılzadeh and his family left Iran after he was subjected to government intimidation and violence for being critical of the country’s regime.

The Adana Provincial Directorate of Migration Management decided to deport the journalist and his family, saying they moved and didn’t inform the directorate of their new location.

Following the decision, Esmaeılzadeh submitted a petitioon to the Constitutional Court, saying the migration directorate in Adana violated requirements of the international protection that Turkey had provided for him. He claimed he had moved to the southern province of Mersin due to health problems.

After consideration, the Constitutional Court annulled the directorate’s decision, saying deportation would pose a threat to the material and spiritual health of the Iranian journalist and his family. The court also referenced Amnesty International’s 2014-2015 report on Iran, which stated that journalists in the country have faced “arrest, detention, imprisonment and flogging for critical reporting of the authorities.”

Prior to submitting his petition to the top court, Esmaeılzadeh also filed a complaint with the Adana 1st Administrative Court. That court, however, dismissed the case.

Esmaeılzadeh, who reported in Iran for 10 years, stated in his petition that he was writing about human rights online, as anti-regime dailies are banned. He said he was imprisoned for one month and spent 16 days in solitary confinement due to his articles. He then received a prison sentence of 13 months, one day. Because he continued to write articles after serving his sentence, his wife was also subjected to government intimidation and violence, and thus they decided to leave the country.