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Friday, 7 March 2008

News update

Simon Hughes writes in The Independent of his involvement with Mehdi's case:

This young Iranian lived in Rotherhithe with his family when he first came to the UK and he and his family have kept in touch with me ever since.
The Indie has also followed up yesterday's front page with a Leader titled 'Squalid priorities':
It is surely apparent to anyone who looks at the case history of Mr Kazemi and Ms Emambakhsh, that they face a real risk of persecution if they are deported. Only a government that has put internal political concerns before its international duty to shield those in genuine fear of their lives would be trying to return them to Iran.

Sadly, it seems that is exactly the squalid order of priorities our own Government has adopted.
What's interesting in reviewing board comment is the level of positive agreement. I honestly think that if the Government has the notion that most people would support them on this they're wrong — even with the anti-asylum climate people commenting seem to agree that knowingly sending people to possible execution is not a 'British value'.

The Indie has also covered Pegah Emambakhsh's case. Iranian gay rights groups have reported that her partner is in custody under sentence of death by stoning, nevertheless her latest appeal has been turned down. The article includes the news that more than 60 MEPs have signed a petition asking Gordon Brown to reverse the decision on Mehdi.

The Guardian's Hugh Muir gives Terry Evans a shout in his diary but applauds the East Midlands Tory who replied to him:
Thank God someone has been brave enough to say it. Enough of the bleeding hearts.
What the heck bravery has to do with it I don't know. To this line I would say, would you do it yourself Hugh? Watch a video of the results of these actions - torture, whipping and slow strangulation? Let's see if your heart doesn't 'bleed' then. This is not a 'British value'.

A Press Association story has been used in other newspapers, including by The Daily Express. Nothing by the BBC yet.

Press release by Green MEP Jean Lambert.

International Herald Tribune article includes the following:
Rene van Soeren of the Dutch gay rights group, COC, "if he had only applied in Holland his case would be over and he would be granted a residence permit without a hesitation."
Brief coverage on CNN

This includes a quote by US State Department Spokesman Tom Casey:
I am tempted to note that in his remarks at Columbia University, President Ahmadinejad asserted that they were no gays in Iran. Maybe he meant that he's kicked them all out of the country.

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