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Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Urgent appeal; Mehdi Kazemi; please help

>> THURSDAY 13th:

Mid afternoon the Home Secretary made the following statement (my highlight):

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.

The only 'new circumstances' is the campaign. Pressure works. Please keep it up as Madhi is not yet safe.


As you may be aware from the BBC, the 19 year old gay Iranian refugee Mehdi Kazemi has lost his case in the Netherlands and the Dutch are refusing to reconsider.

Mehdi is under real threat of deportation by the Home Office (this was why he fled to Holland) as his legal avenues are near-exhausted. If returned to Tehran it is extremely likely that he will be executed, as his young boyfriend already has been.

The United Kingdom had sent a formal request to Holland asking for Mehdi's return to Britain, in order to proceed with his deportation to Iran.

I understand that he will be returned to the UK within three days and there are no guarantees that he will not then be immediately deported. An appeal to the European Court is being drawn up.

Please help by doing any of the following today:

  • PLEASE contact your MP today. The media coverage is no guarantee that Jacqui Smith will not send him back.
You can also use the following contact points:
This is the message which I sent to my LibDem MP, which you could use as a template:

Dear Mr XXX

I am a constituent of yours but I write on a non-(my city) matter.

As you may be aware from news coverage of the case, the government is threatening to return the gay Iranian refugee Mehdi Kazemi to Iran and probable execution. This situation has become even more critical as he will be returned from the Netherlands in the next few days.

I would greatly appreciate if you would be able to join your colleague, Simon Hughes, in taking whatever action you can to press the issue with the Home Office.

As a gay man I can put myself in Mehdi's shoes and find the attitude and actions of my government just beyond belief.

I hope you are able to help in some small way as there seems to be no other way to get through to Jacqui Smith except perhaps the contempt of her fellow MPs.

Yours sincerely

Paul Canning


New website Save Madhi Kazemi

Saturday March 22nd, 2pm, Downing Street. Nearest tube Westminster/ Charing Cross

On government spin*:

We are extremely cautious about the way in which we treat these cases
They have shown no evidence of caution. For a number of years they have consistently refused asylum to gay and lesbian Iranians, because that is their policy. Some of these people have subsequently committed suicide. There is a mass of evidence, including from the Foreign Office, that Iran is a 'deathzone'.

We give detailed consideration to these cases
They do not consider the stated opinion of their own colleagues in the Foreign Office and never have.

They go through a rigorous appeals and court process
There is a Home Office policy that gays and lesbians can be returned if they are 'discreet'. Further, there is a history of the Home Office accepting bland assurances from the Iranian government. Further, there is a lot of evidence of rank homophobic attitudes within the Appeals Court process.

Obviously we have to follow and respect the integrity of that process
Not if it is biased. Not if the outcome is guaranteed because of their (unstated) policy. There is no integrity to this process for gays and lesbians.

* as restated today in the House of Lords.


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