Turkey: Cruelty – The Gay Couple Who Fled to Turkey From Iran May Be Separated After the United Nations Accepted One Man’s Case and Denied the Other

Gay Iranian denied refugee status by UN

By Tony Grew • July 25, 2008

Credit Photo Lewishamdreamer

A gay couple who fled to Turkey from Iran may be separated after the United Nations accepted one man’s case and denied the other.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is meant to protect and support refugees and assist in their return or resettlement.

Kamal and Reza hoped could start a life together without the fear of being punished for their sexuality.

Kamal has been told he will be recognised as a refugee but Reza received word earlier this week that he will not.

“Reza will have a chance to appeal this decision with the aid of a different UNHCR legal officer,” said a spokesman for IRQO, the Canada-based Iranian Queer Organisation.

“We should urge UNHCR on appeal to recognize Reza as a refugee. The other option is for us to request UNHCR to present Kamal to the Canadian Embassy in Ankara for resettlement purposes.

“Then Kamal can apply for Reza as his common law partner.”

Human rights groups claim up to 4,000 gay men and lesbians have been executed since the 1979 revolution in Iran.

These are usually under the guise of honour killings, says a 2006 report released by LGBT activists OutRage!

Full Article Here


  1. lesbiansaidwhat

    On CNN today they ran a news blurb about a gay couple in Iran. They talked about how hard it was to be gay in that country.

    During the interview they interviewed people of the country and the men thought that the gay couple should be punished because it’s against the law.

    I know that they have hung gays in Iran in the past.

    Yet for some reason to out government that isn’t such a big deal.


  2. fixator

    There is so much evidence that Iran persecutes gays. I recall the photos of two young gay men being hanged that was widely distributed! The insanity. To think your life depends on a decision my some UN pen pusher.

  3. Omar Kuddus

    Sodomy laws can be found around the world. Today, consensual homosexual acts between adults are illegal in about 70 out of the 195 countries of the world; in 40 of these, only male-male sex is outlawed.
    This number has been declining since the second half of the 20th century. All of Europe, North America and nearly all of Latin America or/and South America have recently abolished sodomy laws (except for; Belize, Guyana and Panama? — along with several Caribbean islands, including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago). This trend among Western nations has not been followed in all other regions of the world (Africa, some parts of Asia, Oceania and the Caribbean Islands), where sodomy often remains a serious crime. Homosexual acts remain punishable by death.
    BUT not in Turkey, for Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic whose political system was established in 1923. Since then, Turkey has become increasingly integrated with the West through membership in organizations such as the Council of Europe (1949), NATO (1952), OECD (1961), OSCE (1973) and the G20 industrial nations (1999). Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005, having been an associate member of the EEC since 1963, and having reached a customs union agreement in 1995.
    The Home Office Country Guidance on Turkey, updated on the 18 April 2007, has no mention regarding Homosexuality but does state that Turkey has “during 2006 incidents of torture and abuse declined but remain a problem”.
    Again unfortunately it is religion and “honour” and customs and social acceptance that is racing its ugly head and responsible for such violations/abuse.
    Until it is established by all the member states of the EU that Homosexuality is a Fundamental Rights and that sexuality does not make a person any inferior, such volitions and abuse shall be prevalent and acceptable (and Robert could not have stated it better especially as it echoes the statement of our Home Office Minister) and no EU member state should be allowed to pick and chose what is appropriate for them, as it defies equality on all levels.

  4. GayAsylum UK

    One of the most important fundamental and ethical question that the world should be asking, especially in the LGBT community, is that of the UN decision, not to grant both members of a gay couple asylum. In regards to Kamal and Reza’s asylum decision by the UN, in Turkey, one has to ask why the UN is being so hypocritical.

    Early last November the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spoke of her support for Equality for LGBT’s.
    Louise Arbour made her comments after an historic meeting discussing the Yogyakata Principles. In her statement she said;
    “Human Rights principles, by definition, apply to all of us, simply by virtue of having been born human.
    “ Just as it would be unthinkable to exclude some from their protection on the basis of race, religion, or social status, so too must we reject any attempt to do so on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
    “Excluding lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons from equal protection violates international human rights law as well as the common standards of humanity that defines us all.
    “And in my view, respect for cultural diversity is insufficient to justify the existence of laws that violate the fundamental right to life, security and privacy by criminalizing harmless private relations between consulting adults.
    “As such, I wish o reiterate the firm commitment of my Office to promote and protect the human rights of all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
    However this has not, been reflected by the UN itself, when it is prepared to split a established gay couple, by granting only one partner asylum.
    The decision itself goes against the Human Rights Act (1988){articles 2,3,8,12, 14 and 17} and in particular articles 8 and 12 where the decision violates their rights to respect for family life and the right to marry and live their lives as a couple, and should be challenged as such, by the world’s community.

    If the Worlds LGBT community allows this violation of basic fundamental human rights to go unchecked unaccounted for by the UN, where or how can we challenge individual countries and their regimes for the atrocities and injustices faced by LGBT citizens?
    The UN is itself meant to represent the interest of all of the world’s citizens and reflect our beliefs and set standards other institutions and nations to follow.
    In this case the UN has missed the goal post and its actions sending the wrong message and president, to allow others to follow suit.

    The UN itself can not be seen to violate basic fundamental rights, for it is the benchmark and the last resort that all institutions, human rights groups and campaigners rely upon, for justice and equality for all mankind.
    This tragic situation cannot be allowed and the worlds Human Rights institutions and campaigners must unite to inshore the end result and prevent injustice to be carried out in our names.

    The LGBT community across the globe is waking up and realising that equality and Fundamental Human Rights belong to us all, by the mere fact that we are all born human, and as demonstrated recently in the case of Madhi, will not be silent for it is up to us in the free west to inshore that others are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

    Gay Asylum UK (htt://groups.yahoo.com/group/gayasylum) is about to launch an international petition to prevent this injustice happening and is once again calling for support from the worlds LGBT community to make it self heard.

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