Wednesday, 12 March 2008

News update

Two other major US TV Channels have now covered Mehdi, CBS, using the Associated Press story, and ABC on their main evening bulletin. As has a Malaysian newspaper.

ABC Nightly News

Statement by European Greens

The Independent reports that Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, has written to Jacqui Smith to urge the Government to end the return of all gay asylum-seekers to Iran.

"It seems absolutely clear that any gay or lesbian person sent back to Iran is at risk of their lives. Such returns must be stopped."
The Indie also got the following quote out of the Home Office:

A Home Office spokeswoman confirmed Mr Kazemi had exhausted all his domestic avenues of appeal and could expect to be detained pending his deportation. But she added: "Any further representations will be considered on their merits taking into account all the circumstances."

The Times reminds people that:

[We] uncovered Foreign and Commonwealth Office papers in November that showed that the British Government regularly challenges Iran about its gay hangings.

2,691 signatures on the online petition by this morning.

Both Mehdi and Pegah's cases are being picked up by the international blogosphere. A few (English language) headlines, all from blogs with real and some big audiences:

Britain Sentences Lesbian to Iranian Death; Something for the multi-culti crowd to chew on; Miserable Lie; Gay teenager is facing gallows as his asylum; Iranian Teen faces deportation and death; Gays in Britain, 2008; Read These Now or Hangings Will Continue; Netherlands and UK Turning Their Backs; Now we know why there aren’t any homosexuals in Iran; A New Dark Age Is Dawning; Britain To Send Man Back To Iran To Be Hanged; Don't Ask, Don't Tell ... Do Die; A life or death decision; British don't give a fuck if Iranians kill you; UK Will Send Teenager to be Executed in Iran;
None of which will please either the British Council or the FCO, I would imagine ...

Interview with Peter Tatchell


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