09 March 2008

Teen Wants to Stay in UK Because Iran Will Kill Him For Being Gay *UPDATED 11 Mar 08*

Why is this even a question?  From this story it seems pretty clear that going back to Iran is a death sentence.

"But in the past few months my situation back home has changed. The Iranian authorities have found out that I am a homosexual and they are looking for me."

How did the Iranian authorities find out?  During the interrogation of his boyfriend... just before the Iranians executed the boyfriend by hanging him.  Whether you agree with homosexuality or not, granting him asylum should be a no-brainer.

The kid is now in the Netherlands because his asylum request was already refused once by UK authorities.  He's trying to keep from being sent back to the UK because he fears they will deport him to Iran for execution.  I hope the Netherlands and/or the UK do the right thing here.

*UPDATE*  The Netherlands is sending him back to Britain on a technicality.

Upholding a ruling by the Dutch government, the Council of State said Britain is responsible for Kazemi's case because he applied for asylum there first. European Union rules say the member state where an asylum seeker first enters the bloc is responsible for processing that person's claim.

The good news is that a British official seems to be hinting that the asylum will be granted.

However, Britain's Border and Immigration Agency has issued a statement that could give Kazemi hope: "We examine with great care each individual case before removal and we will not remove anyone who we believe is at risk on their return."

I hope so.  I also hope Britain tells the Iranians they thought there weren't any homosexuals in Iran.  Isn't that what Ahmadinejad said?

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 16:33:11 | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 I share your concern.  If there's any hesitation, my guess is he or a relative have shown up on a watch list and the authorities are understandably reluctant to let him in under an asylum exception.  Maybe everything he's said is true.  Then again, maybe his claim that he will be persecuted, or even his homosexuality, is a sham.

Posted by: DRJ at 09 March 2008@19:01:59 (wE7Og)

2 don't recall off the top of my head, but isn't the UK one of those countries which don't extradite people to the US if they are charged with a capital crime?

My own gut feeling is that the UK officials felt the claim of homosexuality is a sham, and that he simply doesn't want to return to Iran. 

Posted by: kishnevi at 09 March 2008@20:16:09 (HkEJ7)


DRJ, I had some of the same thoughts... that maybe we weren't getting the whole story.  If we accept the premise though, it is a shameful situation that he was denied once already and had to flee.  I suspect his story is true and the denial was based on an assumption that he came for asylum instead of schooling and the authorities didn't believe his circumstances had changed.

kishnevi, I know Mexico is one  that won't extradite, but I'm not sure about the UK.  The fact is that since the boy isn't really charged with anything, extradition is moot.  Neither the UK nor Mexico has a problem deporting someone home who is not facing charges, much less a capital sentence.  If the story is a sham, that's one thing... but I'm not sure how you'd go about proving the truth or falsity of it.  Apparently the statements by the father are not sufficient.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 09 March 2008@20:52:22 (Q5ggV)

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