Waymon Hudson

Gay Iranian Is Finally Granted Asylum in UK

Filed By Waymon Hudson | May 22, 2008 11:00 AM | comments

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

The UK Gay news is reporting some good news: mehdi_kazemi.jpgMehdi Kazemi, the 20-year-old gay Iranian who has been trying to get asylum in the UK for two years, has been granted permission to stay in the United Kingdom.

Kazemi arrived in the UK in 2004 on a student visa to school. He later found out that his partner Parham had been arrested in Iran and had been forced to identify Mehdi as someone with whom he'd had a relationship. Then, in April 2006, he learned that Parham had been hanged.

Kazemi, then only 17, applied for asylum in Britain. He was denied, then tried to gain asylum in the Netherlands. Because Kazemi had already been rejected in Britain, the Dutch government refused to consider his case and insisted he be sent back to Britain. From there, he was to be sent back to his death in Iran.

It is well documented that being LGBT in Iran is a death sentence, despite President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claims that there are no homosexuals in Iran. Kazemi is only the latest in Iranian LGBTs that are fleeing for their life. The Democratic presidential candidates even weighted in on Kazemi's deportation. McCain, unsurprisingly, was silent on the issue of international human rights.

Kazemi's story is far from over, however. He will have to go through this process again in 5 years.

This only highlights the danger that our community faces abroad. We must continue to bring forward these stories and shine a light on the discrimination, imprisonment, and killing of our international family.

I am glad that Kazemi is safe for now. I pray that others from our international family find the same safety.


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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 22, 2008 11:17 AM

Amen Waymon. I am so grateful that my prediction of weeks ago has finally come true. It is the fact that many people suffer, who we never hear about, foreign and domestic that must concern us.

During my Christain observance at MCC in Chicago we had a fantastic minister who led inspiring services, but, when he came around to the plight of young people who were prostituting themselves on the street, no one seemed as interested. They were the forgotten underbelly that we did not want to talk about. The "throw away" children (Gay and Straight) no one wanted to admit existed or knew how to reach.

Celebrate Mehdi by reaching out and saving someone today.

I'm so glad that this turned out okay. While I assumed it would, it was looking shaky there for a while.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 23, 2008 1:30 AM

The fact that Mehdi's been give a reprieve for five years is due entirely to an international action campaign spearheaded by folks like Omar Kuddus of gayasylum UK and activists associated with Gays Without Borders. They used a mass letter writing campaign, a petition drive and the glare of publicity to help the islamophobes and homophobes in the Brit Home Office see the light.

Gayasylum UK is currently working on about 25 cases, including that of Iranian lesbian Pegah Emambakash and a young gay Syrian named JoJo Yakob.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gayasylum/

http://gayswithoutborders.wordpress.com/

All three presidential candidates mean to continue the war in Iraq. It could be swiftly ended by the total and immediate withdrawal of all US forces from the Middle East, including occupied Afghanistan and cutting the US purse strings used to subsidize apartheid and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians. But they prefer the open ended 'phased withdrawal' scam first used by LBJ and Nixon.

Unfortunately that means that muslim jihadist death squads armed by the US will continue to enforce ayatollah Al-Sistani’s death fatwa against Iraqi GLBT folks. You can find out more by linking to the Iraqi GLBT site at

http://iraqilgbtuk.blogspot.com/

mehdi is soooo cute! i wonder if his father needs some asylum?

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | May 23, 2008 12:51 PM

This is good news. In far too many countries it is official policy to execute or beat LGBT people. Even as we in America are making advances, we should not forget our brothers and sisters living in our countries.