Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Mehdi Kazemi: Human Rights Appeal

Image originally from (Link)

Mehdi Kazemi is homosexual. Unfortunately, he is also Iranian. And Iran is an extremely homophobic state indeed. So much so that homosexual sex is a capital crime - an estimated 4,000 gays and lesbians have been executed since 1979, and more have been tortured.

Kazemi came to the UK to study in 2004. In April 2006 he was informed that his former partner had been hanged for sodomy, and had named him as his partner - meaning that Kazemi would be charged with the same crime, and very likely meet the same horrific fate, on returning to his home country.

Despite this, his appeal for asylum was rejected in 2007. Following that decision, Kazemi fled to the Netherlands. They too rejected his claim on the basis that he had already claimed in another EU country, and he is now about to be sent back to Britain.

The Government's position on the deportation of lesbians and gay men to countries such as Iran where state persecution is rife is a disgrace. Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes has stated that "The Home Office claims that a gay person can return to Iran and avoid persecution by being "discreet"". Even if this weren't on the face of it ridiculous, it does not apply in this young man's case.

Hopefully enough pressure will be brought to bear on the Government for them to reverse this decision and save Kazemi's life. It is shameful that this should be necessary, but sadly it is.

Via Stroppyblog: A demonstration and petition have been organised by the Middle East Workers' Solidarity campaign, and there are e-mail addresses to send letters of protest:

Finally, I urge you to write to your MP and bring this case to their attention.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Ian this is tricky because it is a numbers thing.

While we should have every sympathy with people like MK, if we were to say 'We'll take all the gays and lesbians from Islamic countries' then there'd be millions of them rocking up post haste, some gay some not, and I'm not sure how you tell the difference. I mean frankly Islamist countries are so awful, that anybody who wants to flee them is heading in the right direction!

If we could do a massive exchange programme, and boot out all the homophobic Muslims in this country and swap them for some nice young chaps like MK, I'd be all in favour, but I'm not sure if this would be in any way enforceable.

QT said...

This is a slightly reworded version of the previous comment

I'm not going to get into an in-depth discussion about exactly what our immigration policy should be, except to say that I am firmly of the opinion that anyone who is very likely to be tortured or executed on return to their country of origin, as MK is for the reasons I have elaborated in the post, should not be deported there.

Jet said...

Mehdi is not completely safe yet and he needs all the support he can get!

Please visit and as well.

Thnx in advance,