IRQO: Update on Mehdi Kazemi Case And The European Resolution
The UK rejected his first asylum plea, but Jacqui Smith has now granted him a temporary reprieve from deportation while she reconsiders his case. Mr Kazemi, 19, had failed to gain asylum in the Netherlands. Ms Smith said:
“Following representations made on behalf of Mehdi Kazemi, and in the light of new circumstances since the original decision was made, I have decided that Mr Kazemi’s case should be reconsidered on his return to the UK from the Netherlands.”
The European Parliament’s Resolution on Mehdi Kazemi’s Case (March 14, 08)
MEHDI, IRANIAN GAY: AFTER THE CAMPAIGN BEGUN BY EVERYONE GROUP AND RADICALS, EXTRAORDINARY INTERVENTION BY THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
URGENT EUROPEAN RESOLUTION APPROVED FOR MEHDI KAZEMI
News has just come in from Bruxelles that the European Parliament has approved with 60 votes (46 in favour, 2 against and 12 abstentions) an urgent resolution on the case of Seyed Mehdi Kazemi – the 19-year-old Iranian gay – member of EveryOne Group – who is about to be extradited from Holland to the United Kingdom. He risked immediate deportation from London to Teheran, where the death sentence awaits him because of his homosexuality.
Signed by 142 Euro MPs and 62 Lords of the British House of Lords, the European Parliament resolution on Mehdi Kazemi’s case was approved after EveryOne Group (www.everyonegroup.com), (together with the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, and the associations Certi Diritti and Nessuno Tocchi Caino), had requested urgent action from the European Union in an attempt to save the young man’s life. In the text, (which in the next few hours will be sent to the European Commission, the European Council, the Member States, the UN High Commission for Refugees and to Mehdi Kazemi himself), they ask Holland and the United Kingdom to “find a common solution to ensure that Mehdi Kazemi is granted asylum or protection on EU soil and not sent back to Iran, where he would be executed, thus ensuring that Article 3 of the ECHR is fully respected by all European authorities and notably, in this case, by the UK;
“Before our intervention, Mehdi had attempted in every way to avoid deportation to the scaffold, but it was only the incredible success of the campaign we set in motion, (together with the collaboration of the Radicals and Euro MPs Marco Cappato and Marco Pannella, the first signatories of the resolution), that has prevented, at least for the present, Mehdi being murdered,” commented Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau, the leaders of EveryOne Group, which took on the case from the beginning and raised the alarm. “This time,” (explain the activists of EveryOne, who were also involved in the campaign to save Pegah Emambakhsh, the Lesbian Iranian refugee – who still risks deportation from London, seeing the Home Office has still not reached a decision on her appeal), “we did not ask people throughout the world to send flowers to Jacqui Smith or to Gordon Brown, because the highest British authorities have shown to have no respect for human life. Sending an innocent 19-year-old boy to die with a rope around his neck, is for them, just a bureaucratic procedure.”
The EveryOne Group campaign, which was set in motion after Mehdi’s uncle and some of his acquaintances approached the activists for help, was aimed at involving the international press first of all, and in the following stages the most important European institutions and the UN High Commission for Refugees. “Right from the beginning the campaign has achieved unexpected results,” say Malini, Pegoraro and Picciau, who have unsettled those responsible for the deportations. In the space of a few days the world’s main television channels have answered the appeal – the BBC, ABC, SKY News, CCN, and the London-based RAI, as well as the world’s major newspapers, Corriere della Sera, El Paìs, the Independent, Times and Guardian. Thanks to this extraordinary interest from the media, it was not difficult to bring to the attention of the international institutions, (starting with the European Parliament), that a persecution against homosexual refugees and other refugees is underway in the United Kingdom. It will now be difficult for the deportations of Mehdi Kazemi and Pegah Emambakhsh, (who is also mentioned in the European resolution), to take place, even though the United Kingdom’s attitude towards refugees should keep us on the alert. It is a situation that requires immediate intervention from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees”.
IRanian Queer Organization – IRQO