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Save Gay Iranian Teen Madhi Kazemi

Mehdi_kazemi

There's now a website in support of Madhdi Kazemi (previous news reports have spelled his first name Mehdi), the Iranian teen who was just ordered sent back to the UK from The Netherlands and now faces possible deportation from Britain back to Iran even though he may be executed if he returns.

Kazemi's request for asylum in the UK was turned down in 2006 after British authorities determined that Iran is a country that does not systematically persecute gays. But that's because Iran does not recognize homosexuality.

Instead, they trump up false charges on gay teens and then execute them.

UPDATE: Kazemi receives temporary reprieve from UK deportation. "Gay Iranian teenager Mehdi Kazemi has been handed a temporary reprieve from deportation by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. She announced his case will be reconsidered after concerns that he could face execution if removed to his homeland. Ms 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.'"

Save Madhi Kazemi [official site]

Previously
Gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi Seeking Asylum in the UK [tr]

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Comments

  1. I find this disgusting! The modern western world should not be doing this. So much for being an accepting society...

    I would say that he should try Canada, but we do the same thing to those from the Middle East requesting asylum because they are gay. We send them back too.

    Disgusting.

    Posted by: Taylor | Mar 13, 2008 11:37:48 AM


  2. DEAR TOWLEROAD READERS,

    While we're on the topic of homophobia, a YouTube video has come to my attention, which is abusive towards gays.

    The video features a young gay couple minding their own business when someone with a camera walks up to them, then proceeds to tease, taunt and humiliate them for being, in his word, "faggots."

    It's videos like these that encourage bullying, intolerance and, worse, violence toward not only gays but other minority groups so I urge you to please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1dVlAnPIk4 (Gaymen terrorised) and (1) give the hateful comments a thumbs-down then (2) flag the video as inappropriate. (For your security and privacy, do not leave any comments.)

    I hope most of you will visit the Web page in order to show that spreading of hate in cyberspace will not be tolerated. Thanks.

    Posted by: PC | Mar 13, 2008 11:50:16 AM


  3. So much for liberal Netherlands and UK. Idon't know , maybe Spanish LGBT could help because supposedly Spanish law allows state to stop the deportation process when lives are in danger.

    Posted by: MGF | Mar 13, 2008 12:00:20 PM


  4. Why does the British government want him back? Does the Dublin Treaty require that a person seeking asylum must go back to the EU country that first turned them down? Somehow I sense the British and BUSH governments sacrificing this boy's life for something. For some reason BUSH and the Brits don't want to offend (or interfere) with the Iranians' insatiable appetite to murder young gay people.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 13, 2008 12:02:15 PM


  5. I believe you were right the first time: the proper way of spelling that rather common Iranian name is Mehdi. You can also spell it "Mahdi". In both cases the "H" is pronounced, like sighing at the end of the first syllable (which is stressed).

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 13, 2008 12:14:11 PM


  6. Please go and sign the petition. Leave your comments on Madhi's site today.

    Posted by: z | Mar 13, 2008 12:20:46 PM


  7. Derrick - I never even considered that this story is being used by the US government as a way of further demonizing Iran. But it makes perfect sense. Let's play it out in our heads...

    Just look at this one picture that keeps getting shown of this boy -- what is looming in the background? What is the connection that is possibly being made here? It would not be beyond the heavy-handed thugs of the Bush regime to suggest that Mehdi Kazemi would be Christlike in his suffering, should he be sent back to Iran; to say that such abuses against human rights are no longer to be tolerated; and to use this as an excuse for action against Iran.

    Maybe I'm paranoid.

    On the other hand, I don't think the the thugs at Bush HQ are going to jump at a gay cause anytime soon.

    The larger goal for us should be to make sure this boy gets to a country where he will be safe.

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 13, 2008 12:23:51 PM


  8. He most likely WOULDN'T be turned down here in Canada, but we've seen instances where a refugee claimant is asked to return to the previous country that turned them down and submit their claim and THEN they'd be granted a refugee status. It's happened to a brother in law of mine. He was sent back south of the border(USA). The bastard ended up leaving my cousin but that's a whole other show. As someone already mentioned, he should try another EU country that's less harsh with immigration laws as crossing the Atlantic would probably be out of the question since he'd be incarcerated in UK awaiting deportation.

    Posted by: Shabaka | Mar 13, 2008 12:54:53 PM


  9. Immigration judges assume all applicants for asylum are lying, and then they work back from there. It's an unfortunate reality pretty much everywhere in the West.

    For asylum cases, one's guilty until proven innocent.

    Posted by: John | Mar 13, 2008 1:13:33 PM


  10. Derrick,

    you're correct, EU treaties require the refugee to claim asylum in the first country he/she arrives in, and it is that country which makes the decision - if the refugee flees to another EU country and claims asylum there, that country is required to return the refugee to the initial country...

    The British government's rationale seems pretty obvious - allow this one young man to claim asylum on grounds of persecution due to sexual orientation and it will open the floodgates to both genuine and sham applicants who will use this as the basis for their own claims. While the desire to prevent these floodgates is a familiar and ofttimes justifiable governmental policy, it shouldn't apply in this case because it's known that his former lover was executed and it's pretty much certain that Mehdi's name was revealed during interrogation since Mehdi's father has revealed that the police came looking for his son (and if their relationship wasn't revealed then, the Iranian government are certainly aware of him and his orientation now after all this press attention.)

    It is immoral and iniquitous to send him back to a country which will undoubtedly persecute and/or execute him. The Independent (the thinking person's choice of daily newspaper in the UK) has been bruiting this story about (it was the splash story a few days ago) and I read today that 63 peers (from the House of Lords) have written to the Secretary of State asking her to intervene. His MP, Simon Hughes, has been working unstintingly with him and his family since 2006 to have his asylum status allowed. Let's hope their efforts are enough to save this poor young man.

    Posted by: johnnzboy | Mar 13, 2008 1:25:25 PM


  11. @Shabaka - Have you not heard the stories of judges in Canada demanding that refugees seeking asylum must "prove" that they are gay?

    There's been at least 2 instances that I can remember where that was the case.

    Posted by: Taylor | Mar 13, 2008 1:47:25 PM


  12. Good Lord! This makes the British government seem every bit as stupid as the American government.

    Posted by: Michael W. | Mar 13, 2008 1:59:52 PM


  13. Yes I have,TAYLOR, like the colombian or nicaraguan kid, Alvaro Antonio Orozco. His lawyer, El-Farouk is a friend of a friend actually. And he won a last-minute reprieve, only for a few months though. Just enough to apply on humanitarian grounds. And the board had denied his claim because they DIDN'T BELIEVE he was gay (how ridiculous).It's not the ideal system, I agree.

    Posted by: Shabaka | Mar 13, 2008 2:56:14 PM


  14. This kind of makes sense... they'd look really bad if they sent him back now that everyone has heard of this, so they're using it to spin people toward the war. It's so assy.

    Posted by: oakling | Mar 13, 2008 4:21:00 PM


  15. I wonder what would happen if he entered into a legal civil union in the UK. I don't know enough about immigration law as it would apply there.

    Were he to apply for refugee status in Canada, the one advantage would be the incredibly drawn out process, which could keep him safe for years.

    I'm unclear why he didn't just apply to immigrate to the UK. Some countries(Canada is one) stupidly make student visa holders leave and come back as part of that process.

    So glad his MP is involved. Morality may not win, but political embarrassment is a powerful motivator.

    Posted by: Clay | Mar 13, 2008 5:43:41 PM


  16. Mehdi, who's received an enormous global outpouring of support got a 'stay of execution' today when English 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." In even more important news the EU Parliament voted to take up his case today.

    He'll need the help because of the widespread and dangerous combination of homophobia and racist islamophobia in England. Until today Medhi, 19, and Pegah Emambakhsh, a 40 year old lesbian, were on a short list to be deported because the Brit Home Office claimed that if gays and lesbians are 'discreet' they'll be safe and if not too bad. It's like blaming Anne Frank for not hiding carefully enough.

    Reading about this latest bit of Brit bigotry would lead one to believe that Sam Adams and Ben Franklin were right all along.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue, RainbowRED | Mar 13, 2008 10:03:01 PM


  17. Beyond the fact that Mehdi's distress is disturbing enough, the point of this article which made me angry was that the British Home Secretary only now finds it worthwhile to reconsider the case. So it's not just the clear as day, bald-faced clarity of the poor guy's situation, but it's the SPIN of outrage that's building up (ie: the 63 peers & the MP) that has motivated the rethinking. I want to shout, "Hey, it's not worth rethinking b/c you find it politically expedient to do so, it's just that it's THE RIGHT THING TO DO!" I fear that other homo cases will (and have already?) pass under the scrutiny of the Home Secretary because no "website petitions" were formed for them & nobody found out about them in time.

    I've just recently read 2 interesting books tangential to the situation of Moslem immigration to Europe by Bruce Bawer and Ian Baruma, and this homo-aspect of immigration was not brought up in either author's premise. There needs to be more coverage of this topic in the media for it to capture citizen's attention ( & the politicos would follow after that?).

    Posted by: Daniel | Mar 13, 2008 11:01:07 PM


  18. I have signed up the petition,. Thanks for posting this. Wh the british court only reconsider his case , why not let Medhi stay instead. I am sure everyone knows how Iranian execute gays even if not proven.

    thanks!
    Anyway, would like to exachange links to my FENDI site?
    you can just put FENDI as anchor txt.

    For Medhi,
    Fendi

    Posted by: Fendi | Mar 14, 2008 5:15:09 AM


  19. Umm, what's with the adverts for "Meet Sexy Persians Online" through IranianPersonals.com that are popping up in the banner ads on here? Yeah, sign me up for that one.

    Posted by: DaveB | Mar 14, 2008 9:41:34 AM


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