IRANIAN LESBIAN WHO FLED TO BRITAIN FACES DEPORTATION
March 7, 2008: 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 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.
Gay rights group claim there are dozens more cases of gay and lesbian asylum-seekers living in Britain in fear of persecution and facing harsh punishments if forced to return to Iran. Ms Emambakhsh came to the UK in 2005 fearing for her life after her partner was arrested by Tehran police.
Iranian gay rights groups have reported that that partner is in custody under sentence of death by stoning.
Speaking through her asylum representative in Sheffield yesterday, Ms Emambakhsh said: "If I go back I know I will die." (Sources: The Independent, 07/03/2008)