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Christmas Gift from Netherlands for Gay Iranian – One Way Ticket to UK


Court rules that Mehdi has to be retuned to UK where asylum application
 failed on appeal



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Out in Iran:
Inside Iran's Secret Gay World

He is followed by secret police. His friends are routinely whipped. Some are executed. His name is Mani Zaniar and he is the leader of Iran’s secret gay rights movement.

It is the most dangerous civil rights movement in the world. And for the first time ever, Mani, and many others, risked their lives to come on camera and tell their story.

In this startling and unique Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary, Out in Iran, you go to Iran and get the world’s first look at life inside Iran’s persecuted gay community. We meet an astonishing group of courageous people with heartbreaking stories.

Originally shown on March 4
(duration: 22 minutes)





LONDON, December 24, 2007  –  It was not the Christmas present that a young gay Iranian wanted.

A court in the Netherlands has ruled that Mehdi, the gay Iranian teenager, has to be returned to the United Kingdom, where he faces deportation back to Iran.

He fled England last spring when a Home Office tribunal dismissed his appeal against deportation.

“I was refused the right to appeal of asylum in the Netherlands because of the Dublin Treaty,” he said by telephone this afternoon.

The Dublin Treaty, or Convention, is a European Union law that prevents asylum applicants from applying in multiple members states.

“Obviously, I am very disappointed at judge’s decision.

“My lawyer is making a final appeal to the Netherlands High Court,” he added.

Mehdi, who is 19, said that he was worried that the early decision from the court – the decision was expected to be handed down early in the New Year – meant that his deportation to the UK would be made over the holiday period.

“My main fear at the moment is that the UK Home Office would disregard appeals and send me back to Iran before any offices reopened after the holiday,” he said.

The young Iranian said he is frightened that he will be executed if he is return to Iran.

Before leaving Iran in 2004 to continue his education in England – he had a student visa issued by the UK authorities, Mehdi had a boyfriend.  It was while he was in the UK, he learned that the Iranian authorities had arrested his boyfriend, who had given interrogators Mehdi’s name before being executed. (Click HERE for Mehdi’s full story)

One of the main reasons that Mehdi’s asylum appeal failed was because the tribunal “judge” found that dates on Iranian paperwork did not tally with what the teenager had said, his uncle, who lives in southern England,  told UK Gay News.

The tribunal apparently refused to accept that the Iranian calendar is different from the Western (Gregorian) calendar.


Gay Iranian Teen Awaits Decision of Dutch Court Over Return to UK A young gay Iranian, who fled the United Kingdom in fear after his asylum application with the Home Office’s Border and Immigration Agency failed earlier this year, will be spending the festive season hoping that a Dutch court will allow him to stay in the Netherlands.  (UK Gay News, December 21, 2007)

They Hang Gay Teenagers, Don’t They?  A gay Iranian teenager whose asylum claim was denied in the UK fled to the Netherlands, and then to Germany. The Germans returned him to the Dutch, who are now threatening to return him to the Brits, who have already decided to return the gay teenager to Iran.  And you know what they do to gay teenagers in Iran, right? (Seattle Stranger - USA, December 20)

Young Gay Iranian Soon on His Way Back to UK?  Mehdi, the young gay Iranian who fled the United Kingdom in April, could be back in the country within weeks, his uncle revealed last night.  (UK Gay News, October 17, 2007)

Nineteen Year Old Says ‘I Am an Iranian Gay’ The following email has been received by the IRanian Queer Organisation in Toronto from a young gay man who was studying at school in UK and, after difficulties with the UK Home Office over asylum managed to flee England, ending up in the Netherlands.  The letter is published here as written.  (UK Gay News, September 26, 2007)

Don’t Leave Iranian Gays Abandoned.  By Mehdi.   This article was written by a 19-years-old gay Iranian who tells how, while he was a student in London, his boyfriend back home was executed for being gay.  Mehdi says he was scared of returning home and meeting the same fate when his student visa expired last year – and of his asylum application to the Home Office.  (UK Gay News, April 18, 2007)



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.  

Posted: 24 December 2007 at 15:30 (UK time)



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