Archive for the ‘IRQO’ Category

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Naser rejected asylum by Finnish Government

By Ms. Ahmad and Sengupta, IRQR volunteers

Naser fled Iran because he feared for his life. As an Iranian queer, Naser was left no choice but to leave his family and whole life behind. In Iran, he was obligated to marry, but when he did, his ex-wife found out about his past relationship with another man. After finding out his sexual orientation, Naser was reported to the authorities and was tried for his sexual orientation. During the trial, there were a number of witnesses used against him, one of which was his former boy-friend. With the statements made by the witnesses, he was sure to be found guilty for his actions, which may have led him to death.

He fled Iran to Dubai, where he found a new life. He knew of the dangers that existed there however, he hoped to live as well as he could. After 8 years of establishing himself, he was reported to authorities in Dubai. Once again, he escaped for fear of his life. He traveled to Germany, where he held a visa, but continued on to Finland to seek refuge. He applied as a refugee to seek asylum in Finland however, he was denied on the basis that his claim was not sufficient enough. The Finnish government like many other European governments recommended Naser to return to Iran and keep his identity a secret.

In his plea with Finnish court officials, Naser states, “I cannot return to Iran because of the laws that exist against homosexuality. The strongest proof I have for my case is ME! I am homosexual and being homosexual is against the law in Iran and I will be persecuted by the government”.

Naser currently lives in fear of returning to Iran. He keeps his immediate family notified of his situation but cannot return because the government knows of his departure.

In the phone interview with Naser, he spoke of hope for a better future in Finland. He hopes to live with all the rights he deserves as a human being and hopes that the Finnish government will honour that. To the world today, Naser would like to say that “Iranian queer exist! They are real and I am proof of the struggles they face. Please do not turn your gaze away! Please do not deny us! We need the world’s support to change the circumstances we are in and will continue to struggle until freedom is in our grasp.”

On one hand, in Iran, Naser must hide his identity to live a safe life; and on the other hand, the European government requires him to prove his identity to live a safe life. Naser is in limbo and desperately needs help because of his risky situation. Naser is just one of many Iranian queer refugees who is in this situation. Like Ashgar, who is facing deportation in Norway and other Iranian queer asylum seekers in Europe, Naser must prove his sexual identity in Finland in order to grant asylum. Please show your support by contacting your members of parliament, government and politicians to revise these regulations.

Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees – IRQR
www.irqr.net
info@irqr.net

Finnish Immigration Service

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Norway threatens to deport Asghar Hedayati to Iran. Please stop his deportation
Thursday, January 28, 2010, by EveryOne Group

A letter to His Majesty The King Harald V of Norway , the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, the Chief Justice Topre Schei, the minister of Justice Knut Storberget, the Immigration Appeals Board of Norway – Utlendingsnemnda and the Norwegian Ministers and Parliamentarians.

28th Jan 2010

His Majesty The King Harald V the King Of Norway
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
Minister of Justice Knut Storberget
The Immigration Appeals Board of Norway
Honorable Norwegian Ministers and Parliamentarians

cc

The European Parliament
The European Commission

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Your Majesty,
Honorable Sirs,

we are contacting you to request your assistance on a very urgent case involving Asghar Hedayati a gay Iranian, who is currently in Norway. We 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. We would like to express our deep concern about his situation, as he will experience imprisonment, torture, and even execution upon his forced return to Iran.

We are urging you to reconsider this case under the spirit of respect for human rights and we are 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.

Yours sincerely,

Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro,
Dario Picciau, Glenys Robinson
EveryOne Group

See Also:

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
Twitter http://twitter.com/LGBTAsylumNews

Iran: Stop Executions for Sodomy Charges

Join the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), Iranian Queers Organization (IRQO) and COC Netherlands in calling on Iranian authorities to stop the numerous executions of minors and adults accused of sodomy. Also join us in calling on Western countries with significant diplomatic and economic ties to Iran, including Germany, France, Canada, as well as the European Union, to pursue diplomatic efforts to cease these executions.

Use our electronic system below to send a letter in English to the foreign officials and another letter in Persian to Iranian officials.

Take Action Now

The Issue

The courts in Iran have sentenced a number of men to death after they were accused and convicted of sodomy. Under Iranian law, sodomy includes sexual intercourse between members of the same sex, and is illegal. The punishment for same-sex intercourse between two men (Lavaat) is death and between two women (Mosaheghe) is 100 lashes for the first three offenses and the death penalty for the fourth.

Most, if not all of these arbitrary executions orders follow rushed trials with little adherence to procedure. Judges overseeing sodomy cases often ignore the strict guidelines of the Iranian Penal Code, and instead use questionable investigative methods and inadmissible evidence to decide the case. Frequently, the convictions are based on forced confessions, made under extreme psychological pressure and torture. Additionally, at least three lawyers who have defended people accused of sodomy have expressed fear of harassment and intimidation by the government and vigilantes. The courts do not allow independent observers to examine cases. Such practices violate the defendants’ human rights to a fair trial, free from torture.

In most cases, the Court convicts the defendants of sodomy charges solely on the basis of “the knowledge of the judge”. According to Iranian law, when there is not enough evidence to convict a defendant of a sexual crime, the judge may use his knowledge, in a deductive process based on the evidence that already exists, to determine whether the crime took place or not. Unfortunately, the excessive use of this principle means that rather than paying attention to evidence, the judge often sentences defendants to death based on his speculations. A number of prominent legal and religious scholars believe that such a broad application of the “the knowledge of the judge” to issue death penalty for sexual crimes is in violation of the letter and the spirit of Sharia law.

Regardless of the procedural errors of the trials, Iran’s practice of punishing sexual crimes such as sodomy with the death penalty is cruel, disproportionate to the nature of the crime, and inherently arbitrary under international law. The United Nations Human Rights Committee has stated that under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a party, applying the death penalty for ‘homosexual acts’ violates Article 6, and that criminalization of private sexual relations between consenting adults is contrary to Articles 17 and 26. Additionally, the Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial, Summary, and Arbitrary Executions has expressed concern numerous times about the use of the death penalty for consensual sodomy and has stated that criminalizing sodomy “increases the social stigmatization of members of sexual minorities, which in turn makes them more vulnerable to violence and human rights abuses, including violations of the right to life.”

Alarmingly, some of the defendants sentenced to death were tried for sexual acts they were accused of committing as minors. Article 111 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code states that, “Sodomy is only punishable by death if both parties are adults and of sound mind” and Article 6(5) of the ICCPR states that “[A] sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age.” Thus, neither Iranian law nor international law permits the execution of these young men.
Background

The following sodomy cases have been brought in the Iranian judicial system within the past three years. We are still investigating other possible cases in which men have been charged with sodomy, convicted, and sentenced to death.

1. Ghaseem Bashkool, son of AzizAllah and born in 1984, was arrested along with another young man on May 31, 2007 on charges of sodomy. Both men were convicted despite an absence of credible evidence, and sentenced to death. At the time of the arrest, Qhassem was a third-year student of applied mathematics, but following his arrest, he was expelled from the university. The negative publicity around his case also took a toll on his family, causing them great social and economic hardship.

The First District of the Criminal Court of the Ardabil province found both men guilty of sodomy and sentenced them to death. In February 2009, an open letter surfaced on the Internet in which he pleaded for his life. In his letter, Ghassem insisted that the sodomy allegation was baseless and that in the absence of any credible evidence, the judge had referred to the “knowledge of the judge” as the basis of his ruling. At the time of the writing of the letter, Ghassem had spent 20 months in Ardebil prison.

Despite repeated efforts by a number of lawyers and human rights defenders inside Iran to investigate the situation, it currently remains unclear.

2. In February 2009, an informed source at the Fars Province Bar Association confirmed that the Fourth District of the Criminal Court in the Fars Province had convicted a man of sodomy and, in accordance with Article 110 of the Islamic Penal Code, had sentenced him to the death penalty, which would be administered by throwing him off a cliff.

Following the gruesome ruling of the Court, the accuser decided to withdraw his complaint and asked the Court to close the case. Instead, the Court ruled that the public aspect of the case (in the Court’s language, “the violation of the divine law”), forces the Court to prosecute the defendant regardless of the accuser’s demand. However, in the absence of the private complaint, the Court ordered a retrial and that the earlier ruling to be nullified.

We are still in the process of gathering information regarding the current status of the ruling and the defendant.

3. On Aug 9, 2008, the Iranian reformist newspaper Kargozaran, which was later shut down by the government, reported on the conviction of 4 young men in Tabriz (North-Western Iran) for sodomy. According to the report, Mahdi Pooran (17-years-old), Hamid Taghi, Ebrahim Hamidi, and Mehdi Rezaii were found guilty of sodomy by the Second District Criminal Court of Tabriz in July 2008, and were sentenced to death. The case was based on a complaint by a 19-year old man with a history of family feuds with the defendants, Hojat, who accused the defendants of physical and sexual assault. Although Hojat consistently told the court that he had no witness for his alleged rape, in the last session of the court he introduced 3 of his male relatives as witnesses to the rape. Given the absence of 4 male witnesses, the Court’s ruling was based on the “knowledge of the judge.”

The prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaii, who represented the four defendants, believes his clients were framed. In a post to his blog, he says that following a fist fight between his clients and a group of four young men who trespassed and were damaging a piece of land owned by Ebrahim’s father, the police intervened and arrested his clients, accusing them of gang-rape. Since his clients declared their innocence, the police officials started beating and torturing them for 3 days, hoping that at least one of them would confess to the sexual act. After 3 days, the police referred the case to the court as a sodomy rape case.

After the initial hearing, the court ordered the release of the men on $10,000 bail, but it took the defendants 28 days to provide the bail and get out of jail. Fifty-five days later, during the trial, the Deputy District Attorney requested the death penalty for the defendants. The court sentenced all defendants to death penalty, which will be carried out after approval by the Iranian Supreme Court at an unspecified time.

4. In February 2008, reports surfaced of the arrest of two young men, Hamze Chavoshi (19 years old) and Loghman Hamzepour (18 years old), in the Kurdish city of Sardasht in Western Iran. Both men were accused of sodomy. Their current status is under investigation.

5. Sources have informed us that a Court in Shiraz found Mohsen Ghabraii guilty of sodomy and sentenced him to death. Despite his lawyer’s appeal, his death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court and it will be carried out soon. Mohsen, who at the time of the alleged crime was a minor, has pleaded not guilty and has insisted on his innocence ever since.

6. Nemat Safavi, now 19 years old, was arrested in June 2006 at age 16 for alleged sodomy. According to reports in 2008, the Criminal Court in Ardebil sentenced him to death. Nemat was first sent to a juvenile detention center and was later admitted to the young adult prison facility in Ardebil, waiting for his death sentence to be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

According to an investigation performed by the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) in November 2009, the Supreme Court overturned Nemat’s death sentence on March 4, 2009 and sent the case to another criminal court in Ardebil for retrial. Efforts are currently underway to provide Nemat with a defense lawyer who can convince the court of his innocence and prevent another death sentence for him.

Send a message
Take Action Now

Contact Information

Please use the Persian text below, based on the English sample letter, and write to Iranian officials to ask them to use their authority to stop the pending executions on sodomy charges and to put an end to criminalizing same-sex intercourse. We also request that you use the English sample letter to write the Western governments with diplomatic and economic ties to Iran, urging them to pressure Iran to end the killing of its citizens for sodomy convictions.

Please send the letter below in Persian to:

Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei
info@leader.ir
istiftaa@leader.ir
Chief Justice of Iran, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani
Larijani@Dadgostary-tehran.ir
Foreign Minister of Iran, Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki
matbuat@mfa.gov.ir

Please send the English letter to the following European authorities:

The Presidency of the European Union, Swedish Prime Minister Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt
roberta.alenius@primeminister.ministry.se
registrator@primeminister.ministry.se
Foreign Minister of Sweden, Ms. Carl Bildt
registrator@foreign.ministry.se
carl.bildt@foreign.ministry.se
Foreign Minister of Germany, Dr Guido Westerwelle
guido.westerwelle@bundestag.de
guido.westerwelle@auswaertiges-amt.de
Foreign Minister of France, Dr Bernard Kouchner
bernard.kouchner@diplomatie.gouv.fr
Canadian Foreign Mistier, Honorable Lawrence Cannon
l.cannon@international.gc.ca

Please send a copy of your letters to:

IGLHRC
communications+action.alert@iglhrc.org

Sample English Letter to European Officials

Your Excellency:

I am writing to request an immediate intervention to save the lives of a number of Iranian men, including minors and people who were minors at the time the alleged crimes occurred, who are currently in detention after having been convicted of sodomy and sentenced to death. These men include Ghaseem Bashkool, Mahdi Pooran, Hamid Taghi, Ebrahim Hamidi, Mehdi Rezaii, Hamze Chavoshi, Loghman Hamzepour, Mohsen Ghabraii, and Nemat Safavi (see appendix for more information about their cases).

As you know, Iran has one of the highest rates of execution in the world. Imposing the death penalty for sexual crimes is a cruel and unusual form of punishment, which violates international human rights law. The United Nations Human Rights Committee has stated that under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a party, that applying the death penalty for ‘homosexual acts’ violates Article 6, and that criminalization of private sexual relations between consenting adults is contrary to Articles 17 and 26. Additionally, the Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial, Summary, and Arbitrary Executions has expressed concern numerous times about the use of the death penalty for consensual sodomy and has stated that criminalizing sodomy “increases the social stigmatization of members of sexual minorities, which in turn makes them more vulnerable to violence and human rights abuses, including violations of the right to life.”

Over the past three decades, the Iranian authorities have persecuted many of their citizens for sodomy, a crime that the Iranian Penal Code states is punishable by death. Unfortunately, the sodomy law has been frequently used to punish minors and consenting adults who were privately involved in same-sex practices, and those who have never been involved in such practices.

Although the Iranian Penal Code is very strict about the level of evidence required to prove sodomy, including a requirement of the testimony of four, reliable, male witnesses who have seen the sexual act and are able and willing to testify before the court, the courts often rely on inadmissible or unreliable methods. These methods frequently include forced confession under severe physical and psychological pressure or torture, the speculation of the judge (known as the “knowledge of the judge”), forced medical exams, and reports by informers.

The defendants are denied fair and open trials; due to the taboo nature of sexual crimes, lawyers, human rights activists and reporters find it next to impossible to advocate on behalf of the defendants. Furthermore, the Iranian judicial system does not allow independent observers to examine the outcome of the courts and those who dare to advocate for the defendants are often harassed by the government and vigilantes.

The lack of transparency and due process for defendants, the imposition of the death penalty for minors, and the frequent violations of strict guidelines of the Iranian Penal Code for trying sexual crimes demonstrate the fundamentally unjust nature and implementation of the sodomy law in Iran. Regardless of the sexual orientation and gender identity of these individuals, the Iranian government should not murder its own citizens based on allegations of sexual behaviors that are nearly impossible to prove under Iranian legal standards.

I strongly urge you and your government to use your diplomatic influence on Iran to stop the pending executions of the minor and adult men already convicted of sodomy.

Respectfully,

Name:
Organization:
Country:

محضر مبارک حضرت آیت الله سید علی خامنه ای، مقام معظم رهبری جمهوری اسلامی ایران،

پس از عرض سلام و تقدیم احترامات فائقه، محترما به استحضار حضرتعالی میرساند که غرض از نگارش این نامه، تقاضای تجدیدنظر در پرونده تعدادی از شهروندان نوجوان و جوان ایرانی است که طی سنوات گذشته در دادگاه متهم به عمل لواط شده و از سوی مقامات قوه محترمه قضاییه به اعدام محکوم گردیده اند.

نکته قابل توجه در اکثر پرونده های ذیل این است که، قضات محترم دادگاه بر خلاف نص مواد 114 تا 126 قانون مجازات اسلامی، و تنها با استناد به اعترافات اولیه متهمان که در زمان بازپرسی و تحت آزار و اذیت صورت میگیرد و یا به استناد ادعای شاکی (و بدون داشتن 4 شاهد عادل) ، حکم اعدام متهمان را صادر مینمایند. این در حالی است که مطابق ماده 116 قانون مجازات اسلامی، در مورد لواط ” اقرار در صورتي نافذ است كه اقرار كننده بالغ ، عاقل ، مختار و داراي قصد باشد .” مضافا اینکه ماده 118 قانون مجازات اسلامی مقرر میدارد که ” با شهادت كمتر از ‌چهار مرد عادل لواط ثابت نميشود و شهود به قذف محكوم ميشوند‌”.

بعلاوه مکررا مشاهده گردیده است که در غیاب ادله کافی، دادگاه “علم قاضی” را مبنای صدور حکم اعدام برای محکومین به لواط قرار میدهد. هرچند در پرونده های مرتبط با لواط، علم قاضی میتواند بعنوان ادله مورد استناد قرار گیرد، ماده 120 قانون مجازات اسلامی مقرر میدارد که علم قاضی باید “از طرق متعارف حاصل شود”. با توجه به فقدان مدارک و شواهد در این پرونده ها، معلوم نیست قضات محترم از کدام طریق متعارفی علم خود را بدست آورده اند.

از جمله این پرونده های اعدام، میتوان به موارد زیر اشاره نمود:

1. آقای قاسم بشکول فرزند عزیزالله متولد 1363 که در تاریخ 10/3/1386 با قرار بازداشت از سوی شعبه‌ی یک کیفری استان اردبیل به اتهام لواط به عنف روانه‌ی زندان اردبیل شد. قاضی محترم پرونده، آقای بشکول و دوست وی را علی رغم عدم وجود ادله متقن به اتهام “لواط به عنف” به اعدام محکوم نمود و متهمان پرونده اکنون در زندان بسربرده و در صورت عدم الغای حکم اعدامشان، به طناب دار آویخته خواهند شد.

2. مطابق مندرجات نشریه اینترنتی “روز آنلاین” در اول اسفند سال 1387 ، شعبه چهارم دادگاه کيفري استان فارس، فردی را بدلیل ارتکاب عمل لواط به اعدام از طریق پرتاب از کوه محکوم نمود. متعاقب باخبر شدن شاکي پرونده از چنين حکمي، وی رسما اعلام نمود که موضوع شکايتش به کلي منتفي بوده و ‏ ضمن رضايت دادن، درخواست مختومه کردن پرونده را مي نماید. اما دادگاه محترم با این ادله که با توجه به جنبه حق الهي در پرونده لواط، ‏رضايت شاکي برای مختومه نمودن پرونده کافي نيست، حکم به اعاده دادرسي این پرونده مینماید.‏ پرونده مذکور علیرغم وجود شاکی خصوصی همچنان مفتوح بوده و متهم همچنان در انتظار حکم دادگاه میباشد.

3. قضات محترم شعبه دوم دادگاه كيفري استان آذربايجان شرقي چهار نفر به نامهاي حميد طاقی، ابراهيم حمیدی، مهدي پوران (که مطابق اتهامات وارده در زمان ارتکاب عمل 17 سال بیشتر نداشته) و محمد رضایی را به اتهام لواط به استناد علم قاضي در خرداد ماه سال هشتاد و هفت به اعدام محكوم نمودند . متهمین فوق الذکر در حال حاضر در زندان تبریز بوده ودر انتظار تقاضای تجدید نظر در حکم صادره از سوی دیوان عالی کشور به سر میبرند.

مطابق اظهارات وکیل متهمین، این چهار نفر ساعاتی پس از درگیری با چهار جوان که مشغول تخريب زمين كشاورزي متعلق به پدر ابراهيم بودند، از سوی نیروهای انتظامی دستگیر شدند. دستگیری متهمان پس از آن صورت گرفت که جوان 19 ساله‌ای به نام حجت ، که یکی از افراد مشغول به تخریب زمین کشاورزی و دارای سابقه دشمنی خانوادگی با متهمین بود، با مراجعه به پلیس مدعی شد كه این چهار نفر با او درگیرشده و سپس به او تعرض جنسی كرده‌اند. آقایان طاقی، حمیدی، پوران و رضایی میگویند ماموران پلیس سه روز آنها را در کلانتری محل مورد شکنجه و ضرب و شتم قرار دادند تا آنها به “عمل لواط” اعتراف کنند. نیروهای انتظامی حتی پیشنهاد دادند که ” اگر يك نفر از شما اين كار را گردن بگيرد يك نفر شما به زندان خواهد رفت و بقيه شما آزاد می شوید “. علیرغم تداوم ضرب و شتم و فشار پلیس، هیچ یک از دستگیر شدگان به انجام عمل لواط اعتراف ننمودند.

دادگاه ابتدایی با صدور قرار 10 ميليون توماني به عنوان وثيقه برای آزادی موقت متهمین موافقت مینماید، اما چهار متهم نامبرده بدلیل نداشتن مبلغ لازم 28 روز را در زندان سپری نمودند. در تاريخ 20/3/87 دادگاه رسیدگی به این پرونده تشکیل جلسه داد و متهمان پرونده بر بیگناهی خود تاکید کردند. اما معاون دادستان بر اساس اتهام عمل لواط، برای متهمین تقاضای اعدام کرد.

شعبه دوم دادگاه كيفري استان آذربايجان شرقي پس از گذشت سه ماه از تشكيل پرونده با استناد به علم قاضي در تاریخ 30/4/1387حكم به اعدام اين چهار نفر داده است. به گفته وکیل پرونده، شاکی در تمام مراحل دادرسی اعلام کرده بود که شاهدی برای اثبات ادعای خود ندارد ، ولی وی در آخرین جلسه دادگاه سه نفر از اقوام خود را به عنوان شاهد معرفی و آنها نیز شهادت کذب به زیان متهمان پرونده می دهند.

4. در بهمن ماه سال 1377 دوجوان به نامهاي “حمزه چاوي” 19 ساله و “لقمان حمزه پور” 18 ساله در شهرستان سردشت به دليل ارتکاب لواط بازداشت شدند و متاسفانه تا کنون از وضعیت آنها اطلاعی در دست نیست.

5. مطابق اطلاع ما، محسن قبرایی، نوجوان شیرازی از سوی دادگاه به اتهام انجام عمل لواط به اعدام محکوم گردید و مدتی پیش نیز حکم اعدام وی از سوی دیوان عالی کشور تنفیذ گردید. وی همواره بر بیگناهی خود اصرار داشته و حتی مطابق پرونده دادگاه، اتهام لواط وی به زمانی برمیگردد که وی هنوز به سن بلوغ نرسیده بود. با اینهمه چنانچه حکم دادگاه نقض نشود، محسن بزودی اعدام خواهد شد.

6. آقای نعمت صفوي ، فرزند اکبر و متولد سال 1368 هجری خورشیدی، در سال 1385 در سن 16 سالگي به دليل ارتکاب عمل لواط بازداشت و پس از محاکمه در دادگاه اطفال از سوي دادگستري اردبيل به اعدام محکوم گرديد . پس از بیش از32 ماه حبس، سرانجام در تاریخ 14 اسفند سال 1387 دیوان عالی کشور حکم اعدام وی را رد نمود و پرونده وی اکنون برای اعاده دادرسی به شعبه هم ارز اعاده شده است. پرونده آقای صفوی، هنوز مفتوح بوده و احتمال محکومیت اعدام وی بدلیل اتهام لواط در زمانی که وی هنوز به سن بلوغ نرسیده بود، وجود دارد.

رهبر معظم نظام جمهوری اسلامی،

حضرتعالی بعنوان بالاترین مقام سیاسی و مذهبی در ایران، میتوانید از اختیارات قانونی و حقوقی خود استفاده کرده و تقاضای تعلیق یا تنسیخ احکام دادگاه را نموده، یا خواستار اعاده دادرسی در این موارد گردید. ما از آن مقام معظم صمیمانه تقاضا داریم که از قدرت قانونی خود بهره جسته و جان این شهروندان بیگناه را از خطر مرگ نجات دهد.

بعقیده ما مجازات اعدام، خصوصا در موارد مربوط به تجاوز به عنف، مجازاتی ناعادلانه و نامتناسب با ماهیت جنحه است. مطابق نظر کمیسیون حقوق بشر سازمان ملل متحد، کشتن افراد بدلیل انجام عمل همجنسگرایانه { که در قوانین جزایی ایران از آن بعنوان لواط نام برده میشود} نقض ماده 6 ميثاق بين المللي حقوق مدني و سياسي میباشد. بعلاوه کمیسیون حقوق بشر سازمان ملل مقرر میدارد که قتل کسانی که عاقل و بالغ بوده و با اختیار تام خود در خلوت با یکدیگر رابطه همجنسگرایانه برقرار میکنند، ناقض ماده 17 و 26 کنوانسیون فوق میباشد. ماده 9 قانون مدني جمهوری اسلامی ایران مقرر میدارد که « مقررات عهودي كه بر طبق قانون اساسي بين دولت ايران و ساير دول منعقد شده باشد در حكم قانون است». از آنجا که ميثاق ياد شده در سال 1354 به تصويب مجلس شورای ملی رسيده و تاكنون نيز قانوني مخالف با اين بند ميثاق وضع نشده، حکم اعدام برای عمل لواط، هم ناقض ميثاق بين المللي حقوق مدني و سياسي و هم ناقض قانون مدنی جمهوری اسلامی ایران است .

در برخی از موارد فوق، متهمان پرونده ، بدلیل ارتکاب عملی که بعنوان یک طفل و قبل از رسیدن به سن بلوغ صورت گرفته است به اعدام محکوم گردیده اند. این امر خلاف مقررات حقوقی وبین المللی است. ماده 49 قانون مجازات اسلامی مقرر میدارد که ” اطفال درصورت ارتكاب جرم مبري از مسووليت كيفري هستند”. مطابق بند 5 ماده 6 ميثاق بين المللي حقوق مدني و سياسي: «حكم مجازات مرگ نبايد براي جرم‌هايي كه افراد زير 18 سال مرتكب شده اند صادر شود». ماده 9 قانون مدني جمهوری اسلامی ایران مقرر میدارد که « مقررات عهودي كه بر طبق قانون اساسي بين دولت ايران و ساير دول منعقد شده باشد در حكم قانون است». از آنجا که ميثاق ياد شده در سال 1354 به تصويب مجلس شورای ملی رسيده و تاكنون نيز قانوني مخالف با اين بند ميثاق وضع نشده، بنابر اين حکم اعدام اطفال زیر 18 سال، هم ناقض ميثاق بين المللي حقوق مدني و سياسي و هم ناقض قانون مدنی جمهوری اسلامی ایران است .

جدای از قوانین و تعهدات بین المللی که جمهوری اسلامی ایران بدانها پایبند است ، بسیاری از علمای معظم شیعه، از جمله آیات اعظام صانعی و محقق داماد، حکم مجازات اعدام برای جرایم جنسی را در زمان غیبت امام معصوم لازم الاجرا نمی دانند.

پیشاپیش از مساعدت معظم له برای حل عاجل این پرونده ها سپاسگذارم و عاجزانه خواهشمندم ترتیبی اتخاذ فرمایید تا در آینده نزدیک شاهد لغو مجازات اعدام برای همه جرایم جنسی، خصوصا عمل لواط، باشیم.

با تقدیم احترامات فائقه

رونوشت:

– حضرت آیت الله آملی لاریجانی ریاست محترم قوه قضائیه جمهوری اسلامی ایران

– جناب آقاي منوچهر متكي وزير محترم امور خارجه جمهوري اسلامي ايران

mehdin1We 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

Email: poststelle@bmi.bund.de

BMJ – Federal Minister of Justice Ms. Brigitte Zypries:

Address: Mohrenstraße 3710117 Berlin

Phone: +49 1888 580-0

Fax: +49 1888 580-9525

Email: poststelle@bmj.bund.de

European Justice & Human Rights Spokeswoman Ms. Sarah Ludford:

European Parliament, Brussel

Phone: +3222847104

Fax: + 3222849104

Email: sarah.ludford@europarl.europa.eu

Please CC IRQR info@irqr.net 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 info@irqr.net as soon as possible. Thank you for your support.

Related Article: http://www.irqr.net/English/195.htm

Sincerely,
IRanian Queer Railroad – IRQR
www.irqr.net
info@irqr.net
(001) 416-548-4171
414-477 Sherbourne St.
Toronto, On – M4X 1K5

– – – – – – Sample Letter – – – – –

Date:

To: Minister of Interior, Mr. Wolfgang Schäuble, poststelle@bmi.bund.de

Minister of Justice, Ms. Brigitte Zypries, poststelle@bmj.bund.de

European Justice & Human Rights Spokeswoman, Ms. Sarah Ludford, sarah.ludford@europarl.europa.eu

CC: IRQR, info@irqr.net

Subject: Germany threatens to deport Mehdi N. to Iran – Urgent need for action

Dear Ministers,

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.

Sincerely

X

tatchell-homeoffice.jpg

Mehdi must stay demo

Iran’s homophobic persecution condemned

Call to reform the asylum system to protect LGBT refugees
London – 25 March 2008

Over 120 protesters braved hail and rain to demand that gay Iranian asylum seeker, Mehdi Kazemi, be granted refuge in the UK.

They also urged asylum for the Iranian lesbian refugee, Pegah Emambakhsh, and an estimated 12 other gay Iranians who are at risk of deportation back to Tehran.

There were calls for a “fundamental reform” of the way the Home Office treats LGBTI asylum applicants.

The demonstration took place opposite the Prime Minister’s residence, Downing Street, on Saturday 22 March.

See photos of the protest:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/outrage/sets/72157604215757814/
(credit: OutRage! – free use, no charge)

“The British government had ordered Mr Kazemi to be deported back to Iran,” said protest speaker Peter Tatchell, spokesperson for the LGBTI human rights group OutRage!.

“Following worldwide protests, the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith MP, has agreed to review Mehdi’s case. While there is no guarantee that this review will result in him being allowed to stay, we are hopeful that he will be permitted to lodge a fresh asylum claim and that this will result in Mehdi being given refugee status in the UK.”

Saturday’s protest was sponsored by Middle East Workers’ Solidarity and the National Union of Students LGBT campaign, with the support of OutRage!

The protest’s three main demands were:

– Don’t send Mehdi Kazemi back to Iran
– Iran’s homophobic laws violate human rights
– Give the victims of homophobic persecution the right to settle in the UK

mehdidemo.jpg

Peter Tatchell told the rally:

“There needs to be a fundamental reform of the way the Home Office processes LGBTI asylum applications.

“The government is currently failing LGBTI refugees:

“Asylum staff and adjudicators receive race and gender awareness training but no training at all on sexual orientation issues. As a result, they often make stereotyped assumptions: that a feminine woman can’t be a lesbian or that a masculine man cannot be gay. They sometimes rule that someone who has been married must be faking their homosexuality.

“The government refuses to explicitly rule that homophobic and transphobic persecution are legitimate grounds for granting asylum. This signals to asylum staff and judges that claims by LGBTI people are not as worthy as those based on persecution because of a person’s ethnicity, gender, politics or faith.

“The Home Office country reports on homophobic and transphobic persecution are often partial, inaccurate and misleading. They consistently downplay the severity of victimisation suffered by LGBTI people in violently homophobic countries like Iran, Nigeria, Iraq, Uganda, Palestine, Algeria and Jamaica.

“Cuts in the funding of legal aid for asylum claims means that most asylum applicants – gay and straight – are unable to prepare an adequate submission at their asylum hearing. Most solicitors don’t get paid enough to procure the necessary witness statements, medical reports and other vital corroborative evidence.

“The Home Office has failed to take action to stamp out anti-gay abuse, threats and violence in UK asylum detention centres. Some LGBTI detainees report suffering homophobic or transphobic victimisation, and say they have failed to receive adequate protection or support from detention centre staff,” said Mr Tatchell.

Further information:

Peter Tatchell, OutRage!

Protest photos:

Photos of the protest can be viewed and used free of charge for publication from the OutRage! photo website:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/outrage/sets/72157604215757814/

Professional photos by photojournalist Marc Vallée can be viewed here:
http://www.marcvallee.co.uk/blog_mehdi_220308.html

Permission is required from Marc Vallee for publication:
Mark Valee:

http://www.marcvallee.co.uk

http://www.blog.marcvallee.co.uk

http://www.archive.marcvallee.co.uk

ENDS

preview_16x16.png SIGN THE PETITION HERE

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.”

Arsham Parsi

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

PRESS RELEASE

14th March 2008

MEHDI KAZEMI IS SAFE.

EVERYONE GROUP CELEBRATES WITH ITS ALLIES AND ANNOUNCES NEW HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNS

After the historical approval of the European Resolution on the case of Seyed Mehdi Kazemi (see below) the British Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, decided a few hours ago to suspend the procedure that would entail deportation to Iran for Mehdi Kazemi, the young Iranian gay, member of EveryOne Group (www.everyonegroup.com).

What happened today is the result of the international intervention which saw EveryOne Group with the Nonviolent Radical Party and the associations Nessuno Tocchi Caino and Certi Diritti on the front line.

“When we took on the task of trying to save Mehdi”, say the leaders of EveryOne Group, Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau, enthusiastically, “the young Iranian boy faced deportation and death on the scaffold in Iran. Then we and our allies found ourselves flanked by a network of solidarity which prevented yet another crime against human rights. It is the first step towards a society that is no longer indifferent, a society that is capable of respecting the rights of refugees who are the weakest link in humanity.

We have to express our deepest satisfaction at this important victory on the field of human rights, which has resulted in the saving of a human life and written an important page in European history: from now on the highest authorities will guarantee that in all the Member States Directive 2004/83/CE is applied, which calls for the recognition of refugee status also for people persecuted in their country of origin because of their sexual orientation.

“It is a triumph for human civilization”, conclude the leaders of EveryOne, “a prelude for our next campaigns, the aims of which are to safeguard refugees and other persecuted minorities.

While we celebrate the saving of a life, however, we must continue to fight so that nations travel along the road of human rights and abandon persecutions and injustices which are the legacy of ages we have to leave behind us.”

FULL TEXT: Mehdi Kazemi Is Safe – EveryOne Group Celebrates With Allies And Announces New Human Right Campains


Activists Peter Tatchell and Arsham Parsi explain the life-threatening situation for lesbian and gay people in Iran, during the BBC News (12 March 2008) item on gay asylum seeker, Mehdi Kazemi.

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Mehdi must stay – No deportation to Iran
The Home Office bid to deport an Iranian gay asylum seeker will put him at risk of arrest, imprisonment, torture and execution
London – 7 March 2008
Gay Iranian asylum applicant Mehdi Kazemi is in detention in the Netherlands. He is fighting attempts by the Dutch government to return him to the UK. Mehdi fled Britain and sought asylum in the Netherlands because the British government wants to deport him back to Iran. The gay human rights group OutRage! campaigns on asylum issues and supports Mehdi Kazemi’s claim for refugee status. OutRage! spokesperson Peter Tatchell said: “The Home Office decision to deport Mehdi back to Iran is shameful and reckless. “If returned to Tehran, he will be at risk of imprisonment, torture and execution. “Gay men in Iran are hanged from public cranes using the barbaric method of slow strangulation, which is deliberately designed to cause maximum suffering. “This deportation order borders on a criminal decision. It violates the government’s legal obligations under the Refugee Convention. “The Home Office country report on Iran ignores the true scale of homophobic repression, in order to justify the deportation of lesbian and gay Iranians. “I have been tipped off by a senior Home Office official that government orders are to cut asylum numbers at almost any price. “Staff are encouraged to assume that all asylum applicants are bogus and to play down the merits of individual cases, such as Medhi’s,” said Mr Tatchell. Background Here is the Everyone organisation’s link about Medhi’s case. Please scroll down to read Mehdi’s own statement, as given to the Iranian Queer Rights Organisation: http://www.everyonegroup.com/
Need to reform the handling of LGBT asylum claims “The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith MP, must urgently remedy her department’s five failings with regard to the treatment of LGBT asylum claimants,” added Mr Tatchell. “Currently, the Home Office stands accused of: – No training on sexual orientation issues for asylum staff and adjudicators – No explicit official policy supporting the right of refugees to claim asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation – No action to stamp out the abuse of LGBT refugees in UK asylum detention camps – No accurate, up-to-date information on the victimisation of LGBT people in violently homophobic countries – No access to adequate legal representation for LGBT asylum applicants “These are systemic failings by a callous and indifferent government that is more interested in cutting asylum numbers than in ensuring a fair, just and compassionate asylum system,” concluded Mr Tatchell.
ENDS
Peter Tatchell is the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East
http://www.greenoxford.com/ and www.petertatchell.net
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