Following Reprieve, Gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi Thanks Supporters

Following the British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s announcement that they would be granting gay Iranian teen Mehdi Kazemi a temporary reprieve from deportation while they consider his case, Kazemi has thanked his supporters from around the world.

Mehdi_kazemiSaid Kazemi, through his uncle Saeed, who resides in the UK: “I am very thankful for everyone’s concern and help.”

UK Gay News reports: “The announcement from the Home Office came as the European Parliament passed a resolution that said, in part that the EU Member states involved must ‘find a common solution to ensure that Mehdi Kazemi is granted asylum or protection on the EU soil and not sent back to Iran, where he would be executed, hereby ensuring that article 3 of the ECHR is fully respected by all European authorities and notably, in this case, by the UK; asks the Commission and the Council to fully cooperate with the Member States on this case.’ Peers in the House of Lords also petitioned the Home Secretary yesterday.”

Kazemi is still in The Netherlands, and there is no word on when he would be sent to the UK.

In related news, our reader Joe received this email from Lord Waheed Alli:

AlliDear Joe

I am the first openly gay member of the House of Lords. I was shocked and saddened to read about Mehdi Kazemi. Mehdi is a gay teenager from Iran and faced imminent deportation. He came to London to study in 2004. His boyfriend was executed for being gay in April 2006. Over 4,000 men and women face execution in Iran for being gay.

I raised this issue in the UK parliament on Tuesday and I asked the UK government to reconsider his case. I am please to tell you that yesterday the UK government said they would reconsider his case and I am hopeful that he will be allowed to stay.

Your emails and support are gratefully received and I will let you know what the final decision is. I have forwarded your letter to the government as a show of support from concerned individuals from America.

Thank you for writing to me and rest assured I will do my best to help this young man.

Kind regards,

(Lord Alli)

Kazemi supporters can also keep the pressure on PM Gordon Brown via this form (thanks, David)

Gay Iranian in Europe: Mehdi Says ‘Thank You’ [uk gay news]

Save Gay Iranian Teen Madhi Kazemi [tr]
Gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi Seeking Asylum in the UK [tr]


  1. justincredible says

    I don’t know if it’s the sleep deprivation from the time change, but tears welled in my eyes at this story.

    There is hope and goodness out there, and I’m now convinced that we can do something, even though ‘they’ are so far away.

  2. John says

    If the West really wanted to fight extremism in the Middle East, it would put away the cluster bombs and F-16s.

    It would instead lead by example. It would allow all those who have been oppressed, tortured, and mutilated by these theocratic regimes to have a safe haven. It would stop propping up these theocratic regimes by buying their oil at $100.00 a barrel. It would call out violent clerics at home instead of giving them money through “faith based initiatives.” It would end hypocritical behavior like torturing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (while brazenly “condemning” Russia and China for doing the same thing in Chechnya and Xinjiang).

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    Amen, JOHN. Thanks for speaking the truth.

    I hope I’m not be shallow or superficial–but this young man’s story (along with the international aspects) would make a great movie. I wonder if that Archuleta kid can act as well as he can sing.

  4. Daniel says

    I think that’s really cool of Waheed Alli to send out that note to supporters.

    re: John: I think the whole region, famous for long memories (unlike the USA), will not forget how the CIA threw out Iran’s best leader in the 50s (at the behest of the British when their oil co. got nationalized) in favor of the Shah. Americans generally don’t know that history, but Iranians do. They wouldn’t have had a theocratic regime in place if we had left them alone. It’s sad that this behavior of mistrust between governments has gone on for generations, but the US foreign policy is adamant about its hegemony. If only the governments would get out of the way, the citizens/the people of these differing countries would get along splendidly, i’m sure of it.

    On the other hand, the photo of Medhi shown with the cross on the wall makes me wonder about religious freedom as well as sexual freedom. Apostates (if Medhi has renounced Islam for Christianity) are often killed (by their embarrassed family, not by the gov’t)in that part of the world.

  5. John says

    Yeah, well, lots of the people we conquered / manipulated / enslaved have long memories.

    The Chinese are still angry at the West over the Opium Wars. But unless somebody has the power to raise the dead, I’d say the mistakes of the 1950s (or indeed, the 1850s) are irreversible.

    What we can do is change present policies, which in my opinion, are still laced with hypocriscy and inconsistencies. What could be more outrageous than the U.S. State Department attacking other countries for “torturing prisoners” on the same day the President of the United States vetoes legislation against torture. Even if Americans don’t fully understand the historical impact of colonialism… surely they can understand the logical fallacies of this Bush administration.

    I have to believe that at least.

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