Saturday, 21 March 2009

Members of the European Parliament ask Germany to properly apply EU legislation for a gay asylum seeker from Iran

On 18 March Members of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights sent a letter to the German Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries and Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schäuble asking them to find a proper solution for an Iranian gay asylum seeker who has seen his asylum application being rejected in Germany.

"We would like to remind you that Member States of the European Union cannot apply European and national laws and procedures in a way resulting in the expulsion of persons to a third country where they would risk persecution, torture and death, as this would amount to a violation of European and international human rights obligations," states the letter to the German ministers.

Members of the Intergroup also reminded the ministers that Iran is one of the 7 countries in the world punishing homosexual citizens with death penalty. The MEPs urged the ministers to find a solution for the Iranian asylum seeker not to be deported back to the country where he will be prosecuted because of his sexual orientation

Last year the European Parliament issued a resolution Nr.B6-0111/2008 on a similar case involving Mr. Mehdi Kazemi, who also risked deportation from the EU to Iran. The resolution called upon Member States for proper and full application of the Qualifications Directive (Nr.2004/84/EC) and urged them to take actions to avoid that similar situation would happen in the future. Mr. Kazemi was given leave to remain in the UK.

The letter has been signed by the President of the Intergroup Michael Cashman, Vice-Presidents Sophie In´t Veld, Raúl Romeva, Lissy Gröner and member of the Intergroup Baroness Sarah Ludford.

For further information on the Intergroup please visit our website:

Representatives of European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights:
President: Michael Cashman MEP (UK/PSE)
Vice-President: Lissy Gröner MEP (DE/PSE)
Vice-President: Sophie in 't Veld MEP (ALDE)
Vice-President: Raül Romeva MEP (G/EFA)
Vice-President: Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (EPP-ED)

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