Saturday, 29 March 2008

MPs from all parties support Mehdi

MPs from all three main political parties have joined peers to call for a moratorium on the deportation of asylum-seekers to Iran.

A letter signed by seven MPs, including Chris Huhne (Liberal Democrat), Andrew Dismore (Labour) and John Bercow (Conservative), says ministers have a moral duty to halt the deportation of any Iranian fearing persecution if returned to the state.

Simon Hughes organised the Commons letter.

The Lords' letter about the Mehdi Kazemi case shows growing awareness that sending asylum-seekers back to countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe is unacceptable because of the risk to their safety and the abhorrent behaviour of those regimes.
Diane Abbott has tabled an early day motion in support of Kazemi.
It is not sufficient to implement laws to protect oppressed groups without giving protection to asylum-seekers in the same groups from different countries."

EDM 1180

Abbott, Diane

That this House is concerned by the case of Iranian teenager Mehdi Kazemi who is currently living in Holland; notes reports that Mr Kazemi's boyfriend was forced by Iranian authorities to denounce other gay men, including Mr Kazemi himself; is appalled at reports that Mr Kazemi's boyfriend was then hanged for the offence of homosexuality; believes that Mr Kazemi's life is in serious danger if he were returned to Iran; further notes that the Dutch authorities have rejected Mr Kazemi's appeal for asylum in Holland and are likely to deport him to the UK; believes that the Home Office view that Iran is safe for homosexuals as long as they hide their sexuality is contrary to human rights standards on sexual freedom; and calls on the Government to uphold its asserted position as a supporter of human rights by refraining from sending Mr Kazemi back to Iran and near-certain human rights abuses.


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