UK. VICTORY FOR KAZEMI AS HOME SECRETARY HALTS DEPORTATION TO IRAN
March 13, 2008: a gay teenager who faces the death penalty if he is forced to return to Iran won a temporary reprieve after the Home Secretary halted his planned deportation and agreed to reconsider his case.
The Government's surprise intervention follows an international outcry over the plight of Mehdi Kazemi, 19, who lost his asylum claim in Britain even though his former boyfriend had been arrested by the Iranian state police and executed for sodomy.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: "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 political breakthrough was welcomed by his family and supporters, who said they now hoped Ms Smith would grant him permanent asylum in Britain.
âWhat happened today is the result of the international intervention which saw EveryOne Group with the Nonviolent Radical Party and the associations Nessuno tocchi Caino and Certi Diritti on the front lineâ, leaders of EveryOne declared.
âWe have to express our deepest satisfaction at this important victory on the field of human rights, which has resulted in the saving of a human life and written an important page in European history:
from now on the highest authorities will guarantee that in all the Member States Directive 2004/83/CE is applied, which calls for the recognition of refugee status also for people persecuted in their country of origin because of their sexual orientationâ. (Sources: The Independent, everyonegroup.com, 14/03/2008)