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MP Intervenes to Stop Deportation from UK of Gay Iraqi

“Immigration Ministers must show some basic humanity and reverse the decision to deport my constituent” –  Sarah Teather MP
 

 

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LONDON, August 19, 2009    A gay Iraqi man whose application for refuge in the United Kingdom as been refused,  should not be deported, an MP said today.

Sarah Teather, the Liberal Democrat MP for Brent in London, is demanding that the Home Secretary halt the deportation of the man, whose name cannot be revealed because of personal safety reasons, who lives in her constituency.

Ms. Teather is also asking Home Secretary Alan Johnson to revise the ruling that it would be safe for the gay refugee to be deported back to Iraq.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch published a damning report, They Want Us Exterminated: Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq, which highlighted the plight of gay men and women, together with transgender people, in today’s Iraq, and how they were being tortured and executed by militias.

The findings of HRW after visits to Iraq and interviews with many LGBT people were widely reported this week by media outlets around the world, including many in the Middle East.

Al-Arabiya News in the United Arab Emirates reported: “Iraqi militias are conducting a campaign of torture and murder against men suspected of homosexual activity, a leading rights group said on Monday, adding that government security forces may be involved.”

And in Pakistan, Sindh Today reported that the “Iraqi government has done nothing to stop militias’ torture and murder of gay men”.

Ms. Teather has been working on behalf of her constituent ever since the initial government decision to deport him.  The news from one of the most respected human rights groups in the world that anti-gay attacks are on the rise in Iraq makes it even more certain that her constituent would face execution if he returned to Iraq.

Despite this compelling evidence of homophobic persecution, the Home Office has not yet accepted that the man has grounds to remain in the UK.

“In light of this deeply distressing report, Immigration Ministers must show some basic humanity and reverse the decision to deport my constituent,” Ms. Teather said this afternoon.

“If this deportation goes ahead there is a terrible risk that this man will be killed.

“How can we possibly claim to be a country that values human rights if we are willing to endanger a life in this way?

“Human Rights Watch have shown that the situation for gay men in Iraq is horrific.  Persecution, barbaric violence and killing is a daily fact of life for gay Iraqis.  This is exactly the life of fear that the UK government is proposing for my constituent.

“I have done all I can to persuade Ministers that they should protect my constituent, and will continue to fight on his behalf.  The UK government must send a clear and unambiguous signal that they oppose the death penalty, by refusing to send this man to face execution.”

■ The Home Office never comments on refugee and deportation matters.

SEE ALSO (all from Monday August 17, 2009)

Washington Post - USA:
Gay Men Targeted In Iraq, Report SaysBy Ernesto Londoño in Baghdad.  Human Rights Watch will urge in a report to be released Monday that the Iraqi government do more to protect gay men, saying militiamen have killed and tortured scores in recent months as part of a social cleansing campaign.

Reuters - UK:

Iraqi Gays Face Murder, Torture Campaign: HRW
. By Mohammed Abbas in Baghdad, with additional reporting by Aseel Kami. Iraqi militias are conducting a campaign of torture and murder against men suspected of homosexual activity, a leading rights group said on Monday, adding that government security forces may be involved.

Sindh Today - Pakistan:
Iraq Turns a ‘Blind Eye’ to Torture, Murder of Gay MenThe Iraqi government has done nothing to stop militias’ torture and murder of gay men, the US-based Human Rights Watch said in a report released Monday.

Al Arabiya News Channel - United Arab Emirates:

  Iraqi Gays Face Murder, Torture Campaign: HRWIraqi militias are conducting a campaign of torture and murder against men suspected of homosexual activity, a leading rights group said on Monday, adding that government security forces may be involved.

CNN - USA:

Gay Men Atacked, Executed in Iraq, Rights Group SaysHundreds of gay men have been tortured and killed in Iraq in recent months, some by the nation's security forces, Human Rights Watch said Monday. 
See also BBC News: 

 

 

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Posted: 19 Aug 2009 at 17:00 (UK time)

   
             
       

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