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Monday, February 25

Jacqui Smith is complicit in murder

A post of mine from last year on Iranian executions of gays has been consistently getting hits from people looking for information on that subject.

The link at the end is to the Iraqi LGBT exiles organisation — where you can donate to efforts to save people's lives.

I've now come across a similar group for Iran. They're supporting 'safe houses' and campaigning against asylum seekers being sent back to their deaths.

[Iran is not alone. Athough gays suffer murderous persecution ( a 'deathzone') in Iraq and many other nations, these are the ones with the death penalty in the statutes: Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemen and Nigeria. NB: The UAE includes Dubai, home to numerous supposed 'friends of the gays', such as the Beckhams, as well as the massed slave labour building those skyscrapers.]

Last year, some British MPs, to their credit, told the Iranians what they thought of them to their face during an official visit.

The Iranian Minister Mohsen Yahyavi (who is the highest- ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality) told British MP’s at the Inter-Parliamentary Union in May this year, that homosexuals should be executed [he initially said tortured but changed it to executed].
However the UK is still deporting gays and lesbians back to Iran.

One was Pegah Emambakhsh, who was saved last year by the intervention, amongst others, of the Prime Minister of Italy.

Nineteen year old Seyed Mehdi Kazemi is yet another that Jacqui Smith wants to send to his death. I have just discovered his case. He is arriving at Heathrow tomorrow and it is not clear whether he will be held or put straight on a Tehran flight.

Hearing this is heartbreaking - literally - because, as one anonymous commentator put it:
It could be any of us who are LGBT, who is in that position, if not for the roll of the dice that allowed us to be born in the West.
Here is his story:
Seyed Medhi Kazemi was born in Tehran and is not yet 20. On September 15th, 2005 he set off for the United Kingdom after applying for a student visa. At first he lived with his uncle in London and attended an English course. In November 2005 he moved to Brighton where he enrolled at the Embassy CES College of Hove. He renewed his student visa to November 2006, with the intention of returning to his family in Iran once the course was over.

Medhi loved a boy back in Iran called Parham, with whom he had shared a secret relationship since the age of 15. Medhi and Parham regularly wrote to each other via e-mail until December 2005, when Parham suddenly stopped writing. In late March 2006, Medhi’s uncle informed him that his father had found out about his homosexuality and his relationship with Parham: the boy had been arrested by the Iranian authorities after being caught with a peer and accused of “lavat” (sodomy).

During the interrogation he was forced to give the names of all the boys he had had relations with, including Medhi himself. Medhi’s father had then received a visit from the Tehran Police, with an arrest warrant for his son as they wanted to put him on trial. In late April, Medhi’s uncle told him Parham had been put to death.

At this point, Medhi decided to apply to the British Home Office for refugee status, as a similar fate awaited him back in Iran: a death sentence for lavat, and maybe even mohareb, followed by hanging in an Iranian prison (seeing executions are no longer being carried out in public places after the decree signed by Ayatollah Mahmoud Hasemi on January 30th, 2008). His application for asylum, however, was turned down by the Home Secretary.

Medhi, terrified at the idea of being deported back to Iran - where a death sentence awaits him – attempted to flee to Canada, but he was stopped by the German border police. After telling them his story, he was sent to Holland (a country known for granting refugee status to Iranian homosexuals) and handed over to police custody. However, the United Kingdom then sent an official request to Holland, according to the Treaty of Dublin, asking for Medhi’s return, in order to proceed with his deportation to Iran.

On February 13th, 2008, Medhi informed his uncle of his whereabouts, he was being held in Venlo police station in Holland and had been told he was soon to be transferred to Rotterdam. Medhi’s uncle says he last heard from his nephew on February 15th. Medhi was in the detention centre at Rotterdam Airport, and according to the boy, no one had told him what his fate would be, nor when he was to be returned to Britain.

Omar Kuddus, from the Gay Asylum UK association, tells EveryOne Group that he received a phone call from Medhi, on February 18th, informing him that the flight that is to take him back to Britain has been arranged for Tuesday February 26th: it will leave at 8 a.m. (Dutch time) from the Amsterdam Airport of Schiphol, and arrive at Heathrow, London at about 8.30 a.m. (British time).

Medhi is at present in a precarious state of heath and suffering from deep depression. Several days ago he started a hunger strike.
Hearing yet another story like this makes me ASHAMED to be British and ASHAMED of the Labour Party I voted for. UK gays should note as well yet another Italian protest against Britain, at the Rome Embassy on Monday.

Jacqui Smith heads the Home Office, whose policy appears to be to send people back and hope for the best. They, contradicting the Foreign Office, continue to deny murderous persecution of gays and lesbians in Iran. Smith, and her predecessors, have consistently failed to take leadership in this area, which campaigners have been raising for years.

Jacqui Smith is the responsible party and needs to be called to account as complicit in murder.

This is the same as when her predecessors in the 1930s knowingly sent Jewish children fleeing Germany back to their deaths.

The Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP
House of Commons, Westminster,
London, SW1A 0AA
By Telephone and Fax :
01527 523355
By E mail

Please contact her and/or tell others about Seyed Mehdi Kazemi.



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