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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Simon Hughes statement

'DECISION THAT MEHDI KAREMI CAN STAY - 'GREAT NEWS FOR A VERY DECENT GUY'- SIMON HUGHES

5.17.00pm BST (GMT +0100) Tue 20th May 2008

Responding to this week's decision that the young gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi has been granted leave to remain in the UK, Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat MP for North Southwark and Bermondsey who led the argument for Mehdi to be given asylum said today:

"Like Mehdi and his family in Britain, I am delighted by the Home Office decision that my constituent Mehdi Kazemi can now stay in this country and will not be sent back to Iran.

"This is great news for a very decent guy.

"As I have argued over the last eighteen months, the Home Office should not send gay and lesbian people back to countries where they will be at risk of persecution, torture or worse.

" We are already at work planning the next phase of Mehdi's life in the UK. Mehdi now wants to finish his studies and then plans to work. I have no doubt Mehdi will make a very positive contribution to this country and society at large. "

Note for editors: Mehdi has been granted leave to remain for 5 years.

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