Iranian gay asylum to be deported?

Mehdi must stay – No deportation to Iran.
The UK Home Office bid to deport an Iranian gay asylum seeker will put him at risk of arrest, imprisonment, torture and execution

March 10, 2008

LONDON — 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. – Issued by Outrage!

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