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Bahtiyar Fathi v. Predsedatel na Darzhavna agentsia za bezhantsite, Case C-56/17, CJEU (Second Chamber), 4 October 2018


Requirements for granting the status of refugee. Fear of suffering religious persecution and notion of "persecutory act".

Normative references

Art. 10 EUCFR 
Art. 18 EUCFR  
Regulation (EU) No 604/2013, establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person
Directive 2011/95/EU on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted
Directive 2013/32/EU on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection


1. During an examination of an application for international protection on grounds of persecution based on religion, those grounds may therefore be classified as “persecution”, even though they do not affect each of the components of the concept of religion.

2. In the context of applications for international protection based on a fear of persecution on grounds of religion, account must be taken to the individual position and personal circumstances of the applicant, of his religious beliefs and how he developed such beliefs, how he understands and lives his faith or atheism, its connection with the doctrinal, ritual or prescriptive aspects of the religion to which he states he is affiliated or from which he intends to distance himself, his possible role in the transmission of his faith or even a combination of religious factors and factors regarding identity, ethnicity or gender (para 88).

3. When examining an application for refugee status, the competent authority must determine whether there is a well‑founded fear of persecution, regardless of whether or not the measure in the country of origin giving rise to the risk of persecution falls within the scope of conceptions of public order in that country. 
(In the instant case, Mr Fathi, an Iranian national of Kurdish origin, applied for international protection based on the persecution on religious grounds he has suffered, at the hands of the Iranian authorities. The application was rejected, because his statements were found to contain major contradictions and his account as a whole was deemed to be implausible).