LONDON (TIP): Britain has granted asylum to an atheist from Afghanistan due to fears he would be prosecuted back home, in what is believed to be the first case of its kind, his lawyers said on Tuesday. The unnamed man was brought up a Muslim but after arriving in Britain in 2007 at the age of 16, he gradually lost faith, said the university whose law school helped his case. His leave to remain will expire in 2013 but he feared going back because he might be prosecuted for abandoning his faith.
The man’s case was taken up by Kent Law Clinic, a free service provided by University of Kent students in England and supervised by qualified lawyers. Claire Splawn, the undergraduate law student who prepared his case, said that an atheist should protected “in the same way as a religious person is protected.” The lawyers concluded that the man’s return could result in a death sentence for being an apostate unless he remained discreet about his atheist beliefs.