Read These Now, NOW I SAY!

Here is more information about Mehdi Kazemi and Pegah Emambakhsh (Thanks Shaker Zoe) who both face deportation and certain death in Iran. I am not sure how much good this administration would be in pressuring the British Home Office, but here is the link for contacting the US State Department. Robert Holmes Tuttle is our Ambassador in London and here is a link to contact numbers for the US Embassy. If anyone can find an email address on that convoluted website, leave it in comments.

The Home Office needs to understand that gay men and women face arrest and execution in Iran, the Liberal Democrats for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality group DELGA said last night. (UKGAYNEWS)
Mehdi Kazemi, 19, will be forced to return to Britain, where his asylum application was rejected last year. He is then expected to be “removed” to Iran where his boyfriend was hanged two years ago for sodomy.

The ruling will put the Home Office under renewed pressure to reassess his case — or face the possibility of sending a young man to his death. The department’s own guidance concedes that Iran executes homosexuals but rejects the claim that there is a systematic repression of gay men and lesbians.

The Times uncovered Foreign and Commonwealth Office papers in November that showed that the British Government regularly challenges Iran about its gay hangings. (TimesOnline)

On Saturday March 22nd at 2pm Middle East Workers' Solidarity will be staging a protest opposite Downing Street in defence of Mehdi Kazemi, a gay Iranian asylum seeker who the British government plans to send back to Iran on the grounds that if gay Iranians are "discreet about their sexuality", they will not get in trouble. (WorkersLiberty)

Southwark and Bermondsey Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes has pledged to support a gay Iranian who fears deportation. Mr Hughes said the Home Office had assured him that the case would be reconsidered.

He continued: "However, this decision was expected and is consistent with international rules.

"As Mehdi's British MP, and someone who has been supporting him and his family since December 2006, I am prepared for Mehdi's return to the UK .

"As soon as Mehdi is back in the UK, I will meet him and his family and make official representations through the proper channels, with the help of the best legal support.

"I remain very clear that the UK should not be deporting gay and lesbian people to Iran where all the evidence shows that they will be persecuted." (Worthing Herald)

Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes website.

Tomorrow the European Parliament will vote on an emergency resolution calling for an Iranian teenager currently in Holland not to be sent back to the UK. (Pink News)

Liberal Democrat European justice and human rights spokeswoman and member of the European Parliament's Gay and Lesbian Intergroup Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP said:

"Almost a decade ago, EU leaders gave a pledge that they would have a common asylum system which fully respected the UN Refugee Convention 'thus ensuring that nobody is sent back to persecution'.

"They have broken every one of those promises.

"The only thing common about the EU asylum scene is 'lowest common denominator' as governments have stubbornly refused to agree on truly harmonised rules which would stop vulnerable people being shuffled around in a macabre game of pass-the-parcel."

And yet another case from Shaker Zoe:
An Iranian lesbian who fled to Britain after her girlfriend was arrested and sentenced to death faces being forcibly returned after losing the latest round in her battle to be granted asylum.

The case of Pegah Emambakhsh, 40, comes a day after The Independent reported on the growing public outcry over the plight of a gay Iranian teenager who fears he will be executed if he is deported to Iran.

Both cases have provoked international protests against Britain and led to calls for an immediate moratorium on the deportation of gay and lesbian asylum-seekers who fear they will be persecuted in Iran.

More than 60 MEPs have signed a petition asking Gordon Brown to reverse the decision on Mehdi Kazemi, 19, who escaped to the Netherlands after the Home Office refused him asylum last year. His case is still before Dutch judges who will decide this month whether he should return to Britain where he faces deportation to a country which has already executed his boyfriend. (Independent)

An international campaign to prevent the UK government deporting Pegah Emambakhsh to Iran, where she fears persecution, for being a lesbian, has so far succeeded in getting her deportation delayed.

Pegah sought asylum in the UK in 2005, her claim failed despite appeals, and she was arrested in Sheffield on Monday 13th August and is being detained in Yarlswood detention centre. (IndyMedia)

Iranian Queer Organization

Two gay Iranians living in Britain say they fear for their lives after their partners were sentenced to death by Iranian authorities and their requests for asylum in Britain were denied.

Advocates for Mehdi Kazemi, 19, and Pegah Emambakhsh, 40, say they will face harsh physical punishment, prison, and possible execution if forced to return Iran. (ABC)

The Spokespersons of the European Green Party today said that the EU institutions and member states must take urgent measures to stop the deportation to Iran from the United Kingdom of Mehdi Kazemi and Pegah Emambakhsh, two Iranian citizens who face certain imprisonment, probable torture and possibly even stoning to death if they are returned to Iran because they are gay and lesbian respectively. (Gruene)

Thanks Shaker Deadra.

E-mail Home Secretary Jacqui Smith here

or here:

or e-mail the Home Office here:

You can also call them: 020 7035 4848 (09:00-17:00 Mon-Fri)

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