About the case:
Sajad Sepehri is an Iranian musician, professional singer and poet living in exile in Albania. Due to his uncertain and precarious legal status in Albania he cannot enjoy basic human rights such as the right to travel, to right to gain from his artistic activity, or to freely create and perform his music. The legal issues posed by Sajad’s case are manifold and it took a team of very committed individuals to work through the complexities of his right to exit Abania and to emigrate to the Netherlands.
My legal and residence status in a European country has been very complicated and confusing politically and legally. In no way I could have afforded a lawyer to help me. My art suffered, and I could not create. My mind and my heart were in pain for a long time. When I met lawyer Matei new horizons have emerged for my future. Matei works with the heart and is a fighter. Her mind works quickly. She formed a strong and unique team to support my case and worked many long hours and days and months for my case pro bono. Nobody fought for me so hard like this before. I was very impressed and pleased with the heart that there are such people in the world to defend basic human rights and have such skills to find the best and most rapid ways out of all limitations. I couldn’t have found better lawyers with their level of knowledge, commitment and respect for humanity. Thank you, thank you!
Legal Strategy: AGL
Case Coordinator: Ali Reza Kazemi (Director, Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities)
Local immigration lawyer: Thomas van Houwelingen (Everaert Advocaten)
Partner organisation: Artistic Freedom Initiative
Thank you for their time and expertise to: ProBono Connect, VU University Amsterdam, Adriana Blanksma Ceta (Refugee Status Determination Officer at Ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid), Erinda Meli ( Albanian Ministry of Justice), Claudia Bonamini ( Jesuit Refugee Service), and Marieke van Eik (Oliveira Prakken law firm).