Urgent Action: Germany Threatens to Deport Mehdi N. to Iran
We request your assistance with an urgent case involving Mehdi N., a 29-year-old gay Iranian who seeks asylum in Germany.
Mehdi N. escaped from Iran at the beginning of 2007 due to his well-known fear of persecution on the basis of his sexual orientation. He stayed in Istanbul, Turkey for six months, but was unaware of his ability to apply for refugee status with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Turkey. At that time, he was also uninformed about the existence of the IRanian Queer Railroad and our ability to support him.
Mehdi N. was lonely in Turkey. His biggest fear was that Turkish police would arrest him and deport him back to Iran. Eventually, someone took him to Germany where he sought to claim asylum.
“When I got to the airport, I introduced myself to police. I told them that I am gay and am seeking asylum. The police officer then shouted, ‘what are you doing here?!’ I feared death, and then started to cry,” Mehdi N. wrote in his letter to the IRQR.
While in Iran, Mehdi N. was forced to live in the closet, hiding his sexual identity from his family and society. He was raped by his boyfriend and sexually abused by his boyfriend’s friends. Mehdi N. was forced to have sex with his boyfriend while the friends filmed the action using a cell phone camera without his knowledge or consent.
“They sent the clip of me having sex with him to others. Many of my friends who received the video had no previous knowledge about my sexual orientation. I was in a very risky situation. They sent the clip to my family as well. I prefer not to talk about the experience and what I suffered,” Mehdi N. said.
He still cannot disclose his sexual orientation in Germany. He fears deportation because his claim for asylum has been refused several times. If deported back to Iran, he will face persecution, punishment, or even death.
“In Iran, one of my biggest challenges was having to deny my sexual orientation. Now, in Germany, the hardest challenge is to prove it,” Mehdi N. said.
At court, Mehdi N. was ridiculed and disparaged by his judge.
“The judge asked me how it was possible that I could be a 28-year-old gay man without my family knowing about it. I explained that I was good at denying my sexual orientation and was careful to avoid consequences from my behavior. The judge explained to me that in Germany, if a man does not have a girlfriend, everyone knows he is gay. I replied that circumstances are not the same in Iran, but unfortunately he didn’t believe me. The judge said ‘I have had many gay people come here and sit in front of me. They looked like gays, but I do not have this feeling about you,’” Mehdi N. said.
After his trial, Mehdi N. received a letter from the court, which said that his refugee status was not granted. He must now leave Germany.
Mehdi N. should be granted refugee status by the German government, because upon his forced return to Iran, he will face imprisonment, torture, and even execution. On February 10, 2009, the European Commission affirmed that persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation is a legitimate justification for an asylum claim. The Commission has confirmed that there is “an obligation on Member States to grant refugee status to persons who are found to have a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of membership of a particular social group, including a group based on a common characteristic of sexual orientation.”
“They used to pay me 176 Euros for food and daily expenses, but they have no subtracted 41 Euros as a fine. I live off of just 135 Euros per month. Most importantly, I am suffering here,” Mehdi N. said. “There are about 70 people living in this home. Every few days, they come to deport some people back. I expect death whenever I hear someone knocking on the door. I have no permission to leave this city, no rights to have a bank account, no rights to travel, and no rights to do anything. I do not exist in Germany. I just want to be a free human without any fear of persecution or punishment.”
Mehdi N. is in an unjust situation and needs your urgent action. Please show your support by writing to the Deutsch government to urge them to grant refugee status to Mehdi N. You may copy and paste the sample letters (below) into an email and send it to the provide emails below or you may write your own letter in support of Mehdi N.
Send your letters to:
BMI – Federal Minister of the Interior Mr. Wolfgang Schäuble
Address: Alt Moabit 101 D10559 Berlin
Phone: +49 3018 681-0
Fax: +49 3018 681-2926
BMJ – Federal Minister of Justice Ms. Brigitte Zypries:
Address: Mohrenstraße 3710117 Berlin
Phone: +49 1888 580-0
Fax: +49 1888 580-9525
European Justice & Human Rights Spokeswoman Ms. Sarah Ludford:
European Parliament, Brussel
Fax: + 3222849104
Please CC IRQR firstname.lastname@example.org for tracking purposes. Thank you for your support.
In addition, if you or your organization is interested in hosting an event to support Mehdi and other Iranian gay refugees, please contact Arsham Parsi at email@example.com as soon as possible. Thank you for your support.
Related Article: http://www.irqr.net/English/195.htm
IRanian Queer Railroad – IRQR
414-477 Sherbourne St.
Toronto, On – M4X 1K5
- – - – - – Sample Letter – - – - -
To: Minister of Interior, Mr. Wolfgang Schäuble, firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of Justice, Ms. Brigitte Zypries, email@example.com
European Justice & Human Rights Spokeswoman, Ms. Sarah Ludford, firstname.lastname@example.org
CC: IRQR, email@example.com
Subject: Germany threatens to deport Mehdi N. to Iran – Urgent need for action
I am contacting you to request your assistance on a very urgent case involving Mehdi N., a gay Iranian, who is currently in Germany. I received some information about him through the IRanian Queer Railroad, based in Toronto, Canada.
Mehdi N. is a citizen of Iran, with case number 5265469-439. He escaped Iran in early 2007 because of his well-known fear of persecution on basis of his sexual orientation. He applied for asylum in July 2007, but the Deutsch Government unfortunately denied his asylum status and he is now at risk for deportation.
His asylum judge did not believe that he was gay due to the fact that he didn’t look like other gay individuals and the fact that Mehdi N.’s family was unaware of his homosexuality. I would like to express my deep concern about his situation, as he will experience imprisonment, torture, and even execution upon his forced return to Iran.
I am urging you to reconsider this case under the spirit of respect for human rights and I am requesting you to grant this person the full state of asylum in Germany.