Image via WikipediaSource: Sarah Teather
Brent's local Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather has demanded that the Home Secretary halt the deportation of a gay Iraqi man living in her constituency, and revise the ruling that it would be safe for him to be returned.
This week a Human Rights Watch report stated that gay Iraqi men are being tortured and then murdered in what appears to be a co-ordinated campaign involving militia forces.
Sarah has worked on behalf of her constituent, whose name has been kept secret to protect his safety, ever since the initial government decision to deport him. The news that anti-gay attacks are on the rise in Iraq makes it even more certain that Sarah's constituent would face execution if he returned to Iraq.
Despite this compelling evidence of homophobic persecution, the Home Office has not yet accepted that the man has grounds to remain in the UK.
Local Liberal Democrat MP for Brent East Sarah Teather said:
"In light of this deeply distressing report, Immigration Ministers must show some basic humanity and reverse the decision to deport my constituent. If this deportation goes ahead there is a terrible risk that this man will be killed. How can we possibly claim to be a country that values human rights if we are willing to endanger a life in this way?
"Human Rights Watch have shown that the situation for gay men in Iraq is horrific. Persecution, barbaric violence and killing is a daily fact of life for gay Iraqis. This is exactly the life of fear that the UK government is proposing for my constituent.
"I have done all I can to persuade Ministers that they should protect my constituent, and will continue to fight on his behalf. The UK government must send a clear and unambiguous signal that they oppose the death penalty, by refusing to send this man to face execution."