Saturday, 5 April 2008

Mehdi's 'courage has been an inspiration' to New Jerseyans

From an Editorial feature in US Gay Magazine 'Out in New Jersey', which has been covering Mehdi's progress for some time. The paper previously wrote to Jacqui Smith saying they would consider initiating a boycott of tourism to the UK if Mehdi was deported.

We are blessed with living in one of the most gay-friendly places in the world. A few small, European states are even better but Jersey is pretty damn good! It is so comfortable for us that it's easy to forget what life for the LGBT is like on much of the rest of this planet.

England has become a quite gay-friendly country FOR THE ENGLISH. However, for queer refugees ... trying to get asylum, it is a different matter entirely. The process is very difficult, expensive and entirely stacked against the applicant in every way an ancient and hide-bound bureaucracy can devise.


Omar Kuddus, of Gay Asylum UK and Peter Tatchell have devoted their lives to an all-consuming passion for this cause. There is simply no way to convey in print the personal sacrifice and suffering these men have undergone in their endless efforts to save lives. They are not always successful. If you go to You Tube and search "Iran Today," you will find videos of what happens to the lost cases. For Peter and Omar, the losses are personal and they must find the strength to carry on in the joy of the cases they do win.


Mehdi, whose courage through this has been an inspiration, has openly declared himself to the world. Omar, with the help of a few, incredibly dedicated supporters and with almost no resources, has mobilized a storm of world-wide media attention and a petition with thousands of signatures that has ... forced the Home Office to issue a stay of deportation and to announce the case would be re-opened.

So far, so good, but the fat lady has not yet sung. It would be a really, really decent and kind and useful thing if you who are reading this would help. We can't save the world - not today anyway - but we CAN save at least this one courageous boy and in so doing, set a precedent for others who will surely follow. We can if you will help - even a little. Please.


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