GAY IRANIAN. 60 EURO PARLIAMENTARIANS SIGN APPEAL TO SAVE MEHDI
March 6, 2008: an appeal was signed by 60 European parliamentarians to obtain assurances on the urgent situation of the gay Iranian youth, who is an EveryOne Group member and who is at risk of deportation to Iran. Today, the appeal will reach the desks of European Commissioner Franco Frattini, current European Union President and Slovenian Prime Minster Janes Jansa, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the UK, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, and President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Poettering.
The letter, which was first signed by Radicals Marco Cappato and Marco Pannella, has been signed by members of nearly all the political groups of the European Parliament. It expresses concern for the situation of the 19 year old who faces the death sentence in Iran for "lavat" (sodomy). His partner Parham, who has already been executed, revealed under torture the names of men that he had had homosexual relationships with.
In the appeal, the parliamentarians ask for assurance that Mehdi be granted refugee status and given the guaranteed protection for those who risk the death penalty in their country, with respect to the European Directives.
"Europe welcomed our requests, in which we exhorted that a clear position be taken," Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau, the leaders of EveryOne said.
"This is also thanks to the extraordinary commitment of the Non Violent Trans-party and Trans-national Radical Party, Hands Off Cain and Certi Diritti."
The activists explained "Mehdi is still in a detention centre at Rotterdam airport. The sentence of the Dutch Supreme Court in L'Aja will be handed down in the next few hours or at most the next few days. It will be in the presence of Mehdi and with all likelihood, his lawyer as well. The hearing, which had to be held yesterday at 10am, was postponed and that is a good sign because it means that the Dutch Government is seriously contemplating every possible development."
This event is assuming an ever increasing international character: today it was given front page coverage by The Independent newspaper, taken from El PaĂŹs, and maybe as soon as tomorrow it will be broadcast on CNN.
However the EveryOne Group is still asking for assurance by the Dutch Government: "We want the certainty that Mehdi wonât face the risk of living in terror when he is a proper homosexual refugee. Asylum must be given to him by the Netherlands without hesitation, mainly because the parliamentarians of half of Europe are asking with us." (Sources: EveryOne Group, 06/03/2008)