PRESS RELEASE

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

GAY IRANIAN REFUGEE, EVERYONE GROUP: “UNITED KINGDOM IS A DANGER FOR ALL REFUGEES”

REPORT WILL BE PRESENTED IN EUROPE

THE UK HOME OFFICE: “GAY PEOPLE CAN RETURN TO IRAN, IF THEY ARE ‘DISCREET’”

In an article published on Friday March 7th 2008, in the The Independent, Simon Hughes, leader of the Liberal Democrats and the party’s Shadow Leader in the House of Commons, stated: “The Home Office claims that a gay person can return to Iran and avoid persecution by being “discreet”. All advice suggests that in Iran, to be discreet means that you would have to deny your identity. The punishment for giving in to personal feelings might well be nothing less than torture or death”.

The same theory had was pointed out by the members of the NNRF (Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum) years ago: “The Home Office claims that if a gay person is less obvious about being gay or lesbian they won’t attract the attention of their persecutors,” writes Richard McCance on the refugees’ association’s website.

The EveryOne Group, that, since its launch, has promoted, along with the Non-Violent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, and the Nessuno Tocchi Caino and Certi Diritti associations, a campaign in support of its member Seyed Mehdi Kazemi, is going to present a written deposition to the European Union objecting to the UK Home Office’s behaviour towards refugees claiming asylum.

“Mehdi absolutely has to stay in the Netherlands. It has been shown that the United Kingdom operates an out-and-out persecutory policy towards refugees, especially homosexuals” affirm the EveryOne Group’s leaders Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau. “The Home Office’s statements are serious, and contrary to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is to be hoped that European Authorities urgently intervene in this situation”.

“In 2004, a 29-year-old Zimbabwean, Thando Dube, was at death’s door, following a 33-day hunger strike in a UK detention camp. Her crime? Thando was a lesbian who fled to Britain to escape the well-known persecution of LGBT people in Zimbabwe. “Her asylum claim was refused,” it’s written in the EveryOne Group’s report. “In September 2003, Israfil Shiri, a gay Iranian asylum seeker, died after pouring petrol over himself and setting himself on fire in the offices of Refugee Action in Manchester, after his asylum claim was refused (in the lower and appeal court) and his deportation to Iran, where he would-have-been hanged, had been arranged. In April 2005, 26-year-old Hussein Nasseri shot himself two weeks after his asylum claim was turned down by the Home Office, refusing in this way to let himself be killed by Iranian executioners”.

However, according to the EveryOne Group not only homosexuals suffered from the British Government’s indifference: Burhan Namig, born in 1980, was deported on September 5th 2006 from the United Kingdom – where his asylum claim had been refused because “not at sea” – to Kurdistan, despite falling into a deep depression and attempting suicide. On arrival in Kurdistan, Burhan had a heart attack, as a result of the inhuman treatment received in a British detention centre. In February 2007, at least two Iraqi Kurds were deported in secret from United Kingdom to the North of Iraq on a military plane carrying medicines and other humanitarian supplies, this despite the ongoing violence in Iraq, after American military actions, and despite the Kurdish region in Northern Iraq being subject to continuous terrorist attacks and serious human rights abuses. “We take a robust approach to people who are here illegally” a Home Office spokesperson told IRR (Independent Race and Refugee News Network) last year.

The latest case is that of Ama Sumani, a 39-year-old Ghanaian woman, studying in the UK, who was diagnosed with a malignant tumour that couldn’t be treated in Ghanaian hospitals. Her asylum claim was refused by the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and the woman was removed, against her will, on January 9th 2008, from University Hospital, Cardiff, in a wheelchair, and repatriated. According to the Home Office, this was all carried out with “politeness and dignity”.

“All this demonstrates how the United Kingdom’s and its Home Office’s behaviour represent a danger for all refugees, all the more so for those such as Mehdi Kazemi or the Iranian lesbian Pegah Emambakshs, who face capital punishment because of their homosexuality” conclude Malini, Pegoraro and Picciau. “We ask the Dutch Authorities to immediately grant Mehdi refugee status, to avoid another life being destroyed because of the demonstrable and incontrovertible attitude of the UK to violating refugees’ rights. Finally, we ask the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to look out for the rights of refugees currently in the United Kingdom, who come from nations where they risk persecution, in order to prevent any abuse, violation and/or unjust deportation”.

For further information:

Gruppo EveryOne

Tel: (+ 39) 334-8429527
www.everyonegroup.com :: info@everyonegroup.com

preview_16x16.png SIGN THE PETITION HERE


  1. Hi! Many people incorrectly believe that torture against GLTQ people in the USA doesn’t happen. It does. I am a torture target & victim in the USA for the last 28 years. I am getting NO SUPPORT from Civil Rights, and Antiviolence agencies, nor the US Government. The GLTQ community in the USA has quite a bit of internalized homophobia inside of it that has been a breakdown of hetero-dominant group pressures. I’m not getting support from the GLTQ community in the USA, either! Torture is a deranged social process that breaks down the bonds of trust in a community, politically alienates & ostracizes, not to mention attempts to break the spirit of it’s public examples. The divide, conquer, & polarize recipe the radical right use in the USA is smarmy. I am moving to Canada this summer. My entire life has been destroyed in the USA, and it’s like I’ve never existed here although I have been a political disident activist for many years. I have nothing good to say about the USA. I only have a handful of friends, really. I live in a town they call fabulous Ferndale, a city of 21,000 that is supposed to be gay-friendly, and it’s really not gay-friendly at all; too the contrary. Twenty Seven business’s have closed in the last year here due to homophobia, and the polarization in the community. There is alot of cooptation in the GLTQ community in Ferndale, and in Michigan, USA, in general, unfortunately. Noone is dealing with my torture experience realistically, or facing it for what it is.
    I get lies, lies, and lies from straights, and gays alike. The few gay friends I have understand, but are afraid also. If Gays Without Borders can help me get Refugee, or Compassionate Status in Canada I would appreciate it greatly.
    There is nowhere I can go in the USA where I am not continuously intimidated, harassed, and threatened night, and day. I have moved, and moved, and moved now for 28 years to no avail. The US nazi’s just keep setting up shop in the communities I am in. I am headed for Canada in July, or August 08. I thank you!

    Sincerly Al White!

  2. HARAM IRAN

    PLEASE JOIN US by picking an evening where we can offer your group a ‘group discount’ and discussion ie The show runs Nov 8 through December 7,
    Immediately following the show, please join us for cocktails, coffee,
    and a Q&A session with the writer, director and cast.
    or ALTERNATIVELY THE SHOW RUNS THROUGH DECEMBER 9

    you can purchase tickets at http://www.haramiran.com or contact me for a group discount
    The Athenaeum Theatre
    2936 N. Southport
    Chicago, IL 60657

    for tickets go to http://www.haramiran.com

    Produced and Wri tten by Chicago Attorney Jay Paul Deratany
    Directed by David Zak, Artistic Director of Chicago’s Bailiwick Repertory
    Permoveo Productions presents the world premiere of “Haram Iran,” a true story that exposes the travesty of the Iranian legal system.

    “Haram Iran” follows the fate of two Iranian teenagers who were publicly humiliated for “moral sins”. The play takes the audience into the complexity of their relationship and the horrifying ordeal of being tried and sentenced to death by an unforgiving Iranian legal system, which misinterprets the Muslim law of Sharia.

    “Haram Iran” involves some nudity, violence, and criticism of Iranian politics and their flawed legal system. It does not critique or criticize Muslims or the Muslim faith, which is a loving and peaceful religion.

    Jay Paul Deratany will be donating 25% of the play’s profits to Amnesty International and other charities committed to preventing human rights abuses in Iran.

    The production runs through December 7th.




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