Saturday, 28 February 2009

Iranian Queer Asylum Seekers in Turkey and Germany


As you read this message, there are about 100 queer Iranian refugees in Turkey who find themselves in a desperate situation. Anxious, sad but hopeful, they wait for the UN High Commission for Refugees to process their application.

They are in a legal "no-man's land". None of them can work, even illegally, because it is very hard for them to find a job. If they do, it is not secure job. They can rarely continue working there if it is discovered they are queer. Yet these refugees need money in order to cover basic living expenses and the residency fees imposed by the local government. They are victims of exploitation and often, sadly, violence and persecution.

IRQR's Board of Directors has asked our Executive Director, Arsham Parsi, to travel to Turkey in order to help them out. Experience has shown that when Arsham is able to be present in person, it makes a huge difference. Things happen. Paperwork moves across the desks of the UN High Commission on Refugees. The refugees are encouraged, often stepping back from the brink of desperation and once again hopeful regarding the future.

En route to Turkey, Arsham would also stop in Frankfurt, Germany, to help some of the Iranian queer asylum seekers who applied there and are at risk of being deported. This trip would be extremely productive and beneficial for these refugees.

Unfortunately, IRQR is short of funds to cover this trip. This is why we are turning to you.

Please consider making a donation right now so that Arsham can travel to bring aid and hope to Iranian refugees. His visa has already been granted for a limited time so time is running out for IRQR to make use of it.

Whatever amount you can afford will be gratefully received. Please send us your donation today using our secure, online system. (Visit our website and click on PayPal). Also, forward this message to a friend you think might be able to join you in making a donation to the IRQR for this Turkish outreach.

For more information about the IRanian Queer Railroad and its supporters, please visit our website at

Thank you in advance for your on-going support and generosity.


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