N. taught women in her native Afghanistan. This put her at odds with religious hard-liners among Kabul’s leading elite. She eventually had to flee to Sweden with her husband to escape persecution.
Sweden refused to grant asylum to N. The authorities were not satisfied that there was a real risk of her being harmed if she returned to Afghanistan.
N. separated from her husband, who was also facing expulsion, not long after arriving in Sweden. Her own family disowned her because of this. They said she had brought shame on them. N.’s husband opposed her wish to divorce him, and N. feared reprisals from his family. She faced being shunned for having broken with tradition if she went back to Afghanistan.