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Monday, 22 December 2008

Urgent action request for gay Iranian in Malaysia


It is no secret that queer Iranians who flee to other countries continue to face risks due to homophobia. This often results in depression and post traumatic stress symptoms.

Ali fled Iran two years ago, but has still not received refugee status. The common complications that queer refugees experience are escalated for them because Ali is seriously depressed. Immediate attention by UNHCR is critical!

Please show your support by writing to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kuala Lumpur to urge them to expedite the refugee process for Ali. There are two ways you can help:

1. You may copy and paste the sample letters in English into an email and send it to UNHCR; OR

2. You may write your own letter in support of Ali.

Send your letters to and please cc IRQR for tracking purposes.

Thank you for your support.

Ali's letter:

"My name is Ali, and I am gay. In 2006, I fled Iran to Malaysia after I experienced many problems in Iran. In Malaysia I sought help from the UNHCR – I never thought that I would have to wait so long to have my rights recognized. I was not even allowed to enter the building the first time I went there. For four months, I was at the door every day pleading for help. Finally, I was granted an appointment for an interview for several months after that. Until now, I have been to many interviews, and every time, I have never given a solid answer, I am always told to come back the following month. I have now been here more than 2 years. Malaysia is a Muslim country, and like many predominantly Muslim countries, life is difficult for people like me. I am kindly asking you for your help so that I can leave here as soon as possible, so that I can live in a place that is free. A place where gay people do not feel shame, and do not feel like they have to hide who they are, a place where I know that the law protects our rights, and will not discriminate between me and anyone else, a place where I will not be beaten because of my sexuality."
Sample Letter to UNHCR

To United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - Kuala Lumpur:

This letter particularly concerns the cases of Ali with file numbers 354-07C01854, respectively.

Ali completed his legal interview and is currently waiting for the commissioner's decision. We, as supporters of queer Iranians, urge the acceptance of his applications for refugee status, as there is every reason to suppose that his lives may depend upon it. We are concerned about his physical and emotional states in Malaysia, and urge you to bring him relief from the hard living conditions, which include unsanitary housing, lack of medical supplies and life expenses.

We realize you have many refugee applicants that you must respond to. However, due to the exigent circumstances especially facing queer refugees, we urge you to assist Ali, and grant him refugee status as soon as possible.

Your timely, informed and sensitive treatment of this case will be much appreciated.




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