Waymon Hudson

Iranian Teen faces deportation and death

Filed By Waymon Hudson | March 09, 2008 9:48 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: Iran, seeking asylum

Mehdi Kazemi, 19, faces what many believe to be a life or death decision in the Netherlands for the gay Iranian teen.iran_gay.jpg

Kazemi traveled to London in 2005 from Iran and applied for asylum in Britain after learning that his lover in Iran had been executed for sodomy. This highlights the danger for gays in Iran, as well as how gay asylum seekers are often left with little or no help.

Kazemi's application was rejected by British authorities. He then fled to Europe to apply for asylum in the Netherlands, where authorities are sometimes more open to helping Iranian gays. However, because Kazemi had already been rejected for asylum in Britain, the Dutch government is refusing to consider his case and insists he must be sent back to Britain.

This could lead to his deportation back to Iran and a deadly situation.

Based on reports from nongovernmental organizations and activists, there have been numerous gay people executed in Iran. This is just one more example of the deadly plight of many LGBT people around the world and the lack of concern from many governments and officials, including our own.

When will the lives of the LGBT community be worth the same as others, and more importantly, be viewed as worth saving? Unfortunately, it seems many of our youngest members aren't getting the chance to live and see that day...

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That is ....horrifying.

It really does surprise me that the Dutch government is denying his application for asylum. They're so accepting and tolerant of just about everyone. But lately, there has been an upswing of anti-immigrant sentiment, especially against people from the Middle East. So I think this is more about anti-Arab sentiment than about gays.

To start, I can only echo jerindc:

This ... is ... horrifying!

Such executions are in violation of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, I am sure. Will the United Nations do anything about these executions?

Will Amnesty International do anything?

It is hardly surprising that our own government will do nothing ... now that we are the global Experts of Waterboarding and our own dedication to human rights has been shown to be a travesty ...

Only an international uprising would have a chance at stopping these things. Not gonna happen, folks. We are too worried about Britney Spears making it through rehab. When people are executed because of their race, we send in the military (remember Bosnia?) ... if the ones being executed are white (remember Darfur? Screw it when the evil Arabs annihilate the evil, worthless black Africans!) ... when the Iranians execute their gay and lesbian children, which amounts to a form of sexual orientation genocide, I can only imagine the American right-wingers leaning back and muttering, "See, even the Iranians aren't all bad ... "

Oh, what a world! What a world ...

Bill Perdue | March 9, 2008 8:15 PM

Its only early March and already several young men have been murdered by the Iranian ayatollahs. Since coming to power after killing off the democratic opposition to the Shah it’s estimated that they’ve killed over 10,000 ‘enemies of the state” – gays, feminists, student protesters, union activists, and leftists.

The ayatollahs death sentences for gay youths always specify a period of torture before hanging or tossing them from ‘high places’ – cliffs, buildings, even dropping them from cranes. The torture and lynchings of these young men are always accompanied by the curses of an organized mob of religious bigots.

Mehdi is being extradited to England under the EU Dublin Treaty which says that someone denied asylum by one member country cannot appeal for it in another. The Brits are accelerating their expulsion of Iranian gays and lesbians. In this case and that of Pegah Emambakhsh, a 40 year old lesbian, the Brits claim that if gays and lesbians are circumspect and quiet they won’t face persecution. It’s like claiming that if Ann Frank had just hidden herself better nothing would have happened to her.

The danger in Medhi’s case is that the Brits, having already decided to deport him, will take him off the plane from the Netherlands and put him on a flight bound for Teheran.

You can message the Dutch government by linking the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs at www dot minbuza dot nl fwd slsh en fwd slsh home. Click on contact and then on Visas and Legalization. Or just Google the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and follow the same path.

You can contact the Brits at www dot britainusa dot com and go to contact and then to general inquiries. But I should warn you, the Brits attitude will be reinforce that idea that Sam Adams and Ben Franklin weren’t wrong in 1776.

Chad M. Halsey | March 9, 2008 8:39 PM

This IS horrifying. I hope, if all else fails, he goes underground. He shouldn't have to submit to certain death.

I don't know how much it will help, but I found this petition online. Maybe minds can be changed if there is enough outrage.


I thought the Brits had a law about sending people some place where they faced the death penalty?

This is a terribly sad situation. It is incumbent upon the west to act to end the slaughter of the innocents.

Bill Perdue | March 9, 2008 10:48 PM

Mehdi and Pegah probably can’t escape. Like the US, the UK is rife with homophobia and islamophobia, a deadly combination for Iranian refugees. Their situation is similar to that of thousands of Jews who ran into a wall of anti Semitism trying to immigrate to the US, Britain and elsewhere to escape the Nazis. They ended up in death camps.

Mehdi, not yet 20 years old, is in a lockup near the Rotterdam airport and is under suicide watch. If he gets deported the Brits will either deport him or detain him and keep an eye oh him. After you sign one or another petition or send a letter please take the time to send him a postcard:
Seyed Mehdi Kazemi (OBS1)
Airportbaan 18
(The Netherlands)

If he’s returned to the tender mercies of the Brits, he’ll be treated according to the twisted logic of racists and homobigots like Roger Helmer, a UK Member of the European Parliament, who, speaking about Medhi’ s case said “The logic of your position is that all homosexuals from Iran, and from other strict Islamic countries, should be free to come to the UK and settle here. I am not sure that that is practical politics. There are a lot of tragic situations around the world: we cannot take responsibility for all of them.”

To make it real, here’s a picture of Mehdi http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2321785099/

Absolutely atrocious. The British will have even more blood on their hands.

Bill, the link to the picture isn't valid - it's been taken down. Do you know another spot where I can see Mehdi?

Hi, thank you for covering this.

If readers want to follow this story I am updating news here


Paul Canning

Bill Perdue | March 11, 2008 5:57 PM

This morning gayasylumUK confirmed the story that the Netherlands will deport Medhi to the UK in about 72 hours.