Archive for January 24th, 2010

Source Image : http://www.globalgayz.com/country/Norway/NOR

Please support this URGENT call for support for Asghar Hedayati, a 40 years-old Iranian gay man from Norway — he may be sent back within a few days to a country where numerous gay men are currently on death row.

http://www.irqr.net/English/231.htm

This urgent CALL TO ACTION comes via Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR). They say that Hedayati has been seeking asylum in Norway since 2003. He is one of IRQR refugee cases who has not lucky so far, but he is still fighting for his rights.

“I was waiting for good news, everyday for the last seven years,” he says. “I was optimistic that I can start a normal life here in Norway. Unfortunately, it did not happen for me, I lost my hope, energy, happiness, and future when I got negative answers from Norwegian authority.

“There is no light for my future now but I never ever give up,” Asghar says in a letter to Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees – IRQR.

Asghar was in love with his boyfriend, Mr. J [for security reason we can not publish his name] and they were so happy but their happiness until Asghar’s family forced him to get married.

It was really difficult time for Asghar and “J” as they could not ‘come out’ for their families and Asghar did not have any reason to convince his family that he did not want to get married. Finally, he was forced to get married.

“I did not love her, I did not like her, and she was not the right person at all,” he says. “We lived together but we were together just at kitchen table. I could not stop thinking about [Mr. J] for a moment.”

After all the difficulties, he left Iran for Denmark and sought refugee status on basis of his sexual orientation. Unfortunately, his asylum application was refused by the Danish government and he was scared to death because he did not want to be deported back to Iran.

So he fled Denmark, going to Norway where he applied for asylum. At that time, he did not imagine that one day he will be in the same situation again. He has now received a letter from the Norwegian government that he has to leave by January 25, 2010 and he does not know what will happen in next day.

He has been told by the Norwegian authorities he can go back to Iran and “nothing will happen for you if you do not come out”.

“How it can be possible? Can they recommend it to Norwegians as well to just shut up and do not ask your basic rights?” Asghar said.

His life is now in danger and the Norwegian government has to grant his asylum because there a lot of evidence that Iranian gays in Iran are threatened because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. There is no doubt his life will be in danger.

Asghar Hedayati is in an unjust situation and needs your urgent action. Please show your support by writing to the Norwegian government to urge them to grant refugee status to Asghar Hedayati. 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 Asghar Hedayati. Please CC IRQR: info@irqr.net for tracking purposes. Thank you for your support.

Further information:

* UK Gay News: “Now I Have Lost Hope” – Gay Iranian Who Faces Deportation from Norway in Hours
* Twelve Men Face Execution for Sodomy in Iran: For first time, activist confirms queer organizing on university campuses (Doug Ireland, published in Gay City News)
* From Teheran to Riyadh, this is how we are discriminated against
* Human Rights Watch: Iran prepares to execute gay teens

Send your letters to:

Mr. Knut Storberget

Minister of Justice and the Police

E-mail: postmottak@jd.dep.no

Phone: Switchboard +47 22 24 90 90

Mailing address: Postboks 8005 Dep, 0030 Oslo, Norway

&

Immigration Appeals Board of Norway – Utlendingsnemnda

Email: postmottak@une.no

Telephone: +47 21 08 50 00

Mailing address: Utlendingsnemnda, Postboks 8165 dep. 0034 Oslo, Norway

In addition, if you or your organization is interested in hosting an event to support Asghar Hedayat or interview him, please contact us at info@irqr.net as soon as possible. Thank you for your support.

– – – – – – Sample Letter – – – – –

Date:

To: Minister of Justice and Police, Mr. Knut Storberget, postmottak@jd.dep.no

Immigration Appeals Board of Norway, postmottak@une.no

CC: IRQR, info@irqr.net

Subject: Norway threatens to deport Asghar Hedayati to Iran – Please stop him deportation

Dear Minister,

I am contacting you to request your assistance on a very urgent case involving Asghar Hedayati a gay Iranian, who is currently in Norway. I received some information about him through the IRanian Railroad for Queer Refugees, based in Toronto, Canada.

Asghar Hedayati is a citizen of Iran, with case number DUF 2003 046 114 08. He escaped Iran in 2003 because of his well-known fear of persecution on basis of his sexual orientation. He applied for asylum in August 2003, but the Norwegian Government unfortunately denied his asylum status for several times and he is now at risk for deportation.

His asylum judge said that he can live in Iran if does not ‘come out’, which is against fundamental human rights. 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 Iranian queer refugees the full state of asylum in Norway because there a lot of evidence that Iranian queers in Iran are threatened because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sincerely

X

– – – – – – – End of Sample Letter – – – – – –

Arsham Parsi
Executive Director
= = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees – IRQR
www.irqr.net
info@irqr.net
(001) 416-548-4171
= = = = = = = = = = = = = =
IRQR is federally incorporated as a non-profit group according to Canadian law. Biographies of IRQR Board Members and more information can be found at our website.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = =
IRQR Mailing Address:
477 Sherbourne St. Suite 414
Toronto, On – M4X 1K5

……………..

Visit our website, LGBT asylum news (formally Save Medhi Kazemi)
http://www.medhikazemi.com
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Peter Tatchell is Liberal Voice of the Year

Left-wing Green wins vote by Liberal Democrat Voice readers

London – 20 January 2010

Peter Tatchell has won Liberal Democrat Voice’s third annual Liberal Voice of the Year award for his “tireless and fearless international human rights campaigning.”

The runner-up was author and journalist Ben Goldacre. Other contenders were Joanna Lumley, Rory Stewart, Terry Pratchett, Henry Porter, Guy Herbert and Alan Rusbridger.

The two previous years’ Liberal Voice winners were Shami Chakrabati (2007) and the campaigners on behalf of Jean Charles de Menezes (Justice4Jean.org) and the Stockwell Shooting Inquest Jury (2008).

See the Liberal Democrat Voice report about the online readers poll result here:

http://www.libdemvoice.org/ldv-readers-vote-peter-tatchell-your-liberal-voice-of-the-year-17607.html

Responding to winning the vote, Peter Tatchell said:

“I am honoured, but quite surprised, to win Liberal Voice of the Year, given that I’m a left-wing Green. It shows that Liberal Democrat Voice readers are non-sectarian and inclusive, putting values and principles above narrow party interests, which is how it should be.

“There are progressive people in all parties, apart from the BNP and possibly UKIP. We should work together more, focusing on what we have in common rather than on what divides us.

“In Britain, the combined supporters of liberal, green and left values constitute the majority. If people from these three political strands cooperated more closely, and if we had had a fair voting system, Britain need never again suffer a Conservative government. We could move the country forward on a progressive agenda for social justice, democratic reform, civil liberties and environmental renewal.

“At the international level, it has been a real privilege to write and campaign in support of the freedom struggles in Iran, Russia, Balochistan, Uganda, Iraq, Somaliland, West Papua, Sudan, Palestine and Saudi Arabia. The democracy activists in these countries are truly heroic and inspirational. I crawl in their shadows.

“One of the things I have learned from my 43 years of human rights campaigning is that no matter how small and weak we may feel, we can all help make a difference. I do my bit for human rights, as do millions of others. Together, cumulatively and collectively, slowly but surely, we are shaping a better world,” said Mr Tatchell.

www.petertatchell.net