Case of Iranian man denied citizenship to be heard at Supreme Court

Case of Iranian man denied citizenship to be heard at Supreme Court

Frances Fitzgerald

The Supreme Court will hear the case of an Iranian man who has lived in Ireland for almost 30 years but who has been denied citizenship on the basis of “secret evidence”, The Irish Times reports.

The man, granted refugee status in 1991, has applied a number of times to become a naturalised citizen.

His most recent application, in 2014, was refused by then Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald because of “national security” concerns.

But the Department of Justice has refused to tell him why he is deemed a security risk, saying it could harm “national security and international relations”.

A department official told a previous court hearing it routinely uses information from foreign intelligence agencies when checking the backgrounds of people applying for naturalised citizenship.

The father of two has challenged the decision multiple times to no avail. His argument revolves around the fact he does not know what the evidence against him is and that his constitutional right to a good name is violated if he cannot defend accusations made against him.

The High Court and Court of Appeal have so far taken the side of the Government, ruling that the man’s rights are outweighed by those relating to national security.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, which will likely call later this year, as it contains issues of “general public importance”.

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