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Communication No. 213/2002: Sweden, CAT/C/31/D/213/2002, Mr. E. J. V. M. v Sweden, November 28, 2003

( The complainant is E. J. V. M., a Costa Rican citizen, born in 1956, currently residing clandestinely in Sweden, following the rejection by Sweden on 19 February 2002 of his application for asylum)

2.5 The complainant claims that, because of his Communist affiliations, he was prevented from working in the National Theatre Company and suspended from his acting classes. He also alleges that he was publicly attacked because he was bisexual.

2.10 He also says that his life and that of his partner, P. A. M., a female-to-male transsexual, with whom he shared his political activities, was in danger. He says that their house was shot at on several occasions and that although they asked for police protection their requests were ignored. He asserts that they had to install a metal stockade in the living room of their house for protection.

4.5 On the general human rights situation in Costa Rica, the State party asserts that there is no consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights. It bases its assertion on reports on the human rights situation in the country, on the Committee’s concluding observations on Costa Rica’s initial report of 2001, on the fact that consensual homosexual relationships between adults are legal in that country and on the fact that Costa Rica has ratified various human rights instruments, including the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The State party asserts that the torture alleged by the complainant took place some time ago and that the human rights situation in Costa Rica has considerably improved since.

5.2 The complainant quotes the opinion of the Centro de Investigación y Promoción para América Central de Derechos Humanos (CIPAC/DDHH) (Human Rights Research and Promotion Centre for Central America), on the discrimination to which homosexuals in Costa Rica are subject, the violence against them and the fact that they cannot contract same-sex marriages.

8.7 On the issue of the complainant’s alleged difficulties in Costa Rica on account of his bisexuality, the Committee observes that the danger of being subjected to torture in Costa Rica in future is not based on grounds that go beyond mere theory or suspicion. In the Committee’s opinion, the reports submitted by the complainant do not demonstrate substantial grounds for believing that he is personally and currently in danger of being tortured if returned to Costa Rica. In the light of the foregoing, the Committee considers that the information furnished by the complainant does not provide substantial grounds for believing that he would personally be in danger of being tortured if returned to Costa Rica.

link to full text of the Communication: