Name: Arsalan Nejati
Languages spoken: Persian (primary), Turkish, and some English
Accompanying family: none
Fled to (current location): Turkey
Ex-Muslim, humanist, and atheist: Yes
Arsalan Nejati is a 36-year-old Iranian who has been persecuted for his political views
and social activities as an ex-Muslim, an independent author, blogger, and a member
of the Atheist and Humanist Society in Iran.
In 2014, after he published his story, he was arrested and tortured by Iranian security
personnel. After his conditional and temporary release the threats continued
emanating from security personnel and also from extended family members. He was
forced to flee to Turkey in April 2015.
He applied for refugee status with the UNHCR on May 5, 2015. He has been sent to a
satellite city without the right to work and no financial support from the UNHCR.
After nearly three years he was rejected by the UNHCR because, although they say he
had established that he was an atheist, “there is not a reasonable possibility that [he]
will suffer serious harm if [he] return(s) there due to [his] faith as an atheist.” The
UNHCR did not accept his appeal and informed him that his case had been
transferred to the Turkish Immigration Office (TIO). He is still waiting on the TIO
for a decision. During this time he has been threatened and beaten in Turkey for his
posts on social media.
Since refugees in Turkey are not allowed to work legally, Arsalan is constantly
struggling to support himself and hopes to be resettled in Canada.
Arsalan would like to continue his education with a focus on science, and at some
point hopes to become a teacher. He has a strong interest in anthropology and
paleoanthropology. He believes science, education, and humanist values will
contribute to the future of Canada’s success and he would like be part of helping
make that happen.
We need CFIC’s help to put together a constituent group so Arsalan’s application
for private refugee resettlement to Canada can be submitted.
Secular Rescue (CFI Transnational) has secured all the necessary funding; the
sponsorship and application has been taken care of for Arsalan, but we need five (5)
people (what constitutes a constituent group) made up of Canadian citizens in the
same city who will be able to help Arsalan get resettled in Canada.
The constituent group helps refugees acclimate to the host city during their first year
in Canada. This will include assisting them to find suitable housing, open bank
accounts, take them to ISANS for registration, getting them health cards, showing
them how to use the mass transit system, libraries, and city services, basically
everything they will need to set-up a new life in Canada. It is a requirement of the
Canadian Government that privately sponsored refugees have a constituent group to
help them get settled.
For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org