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Venice offers home to Iranian lesbian facing deportation

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  1. Kudos to Italy! What a disgrace our government is, deporting this woman back to an oppressive, murderous regime! If Brown and Cameron are truly committed to equality and civil rights, then let them stop this barbaric practice of sending people to their deaths. If she had been a Jewish heterosexual fleeing persecution, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I’m ashamed of our government! This is nothing more than the continuation of institutionalised homophobia. So much for equality and human rights!Robert, ex-pat Brit.

  2. It’s interesting to note that the courts are happy to allow the murderer of the Head Teacher, Stephen Lawrence, leave to stay in the UK as being sent to ITALY is a breach of HIS Human Rights!?Yet, this woman who has committed no crime in the UK but will most certainly be killed in Iran is ordered to leave!?This simply makes no sense to me? Maybe if she’d murdered someone whilst living here she might have had a better chance of staying rather than abiding by the law?There is clearly something VERY wrong with the judicial system and government in this country!PS. Good on you Italy.

  3. Roberto, what is interesting about Italy is that homosexuality was never criminalised, so in a sense, there wasn’t the kind of institutionalised homophobia that we see in countries where there was legislation prohibiting it, that’s not to say that Italy isn’t homophobic, on the contrary. Its is quite apparent that our government is not committed to respecting human rights and are prepared to allow a gay woman face possible death or torture or both, because it would be politically inexpedient for our country to rattle Iran by allowing her to remain in the UK. Gay lives aren’t as worthy of protection I suppose, nothing new there. This is a very serious problem and its about time that the asylum laws were revamped across the EU in general. It is unconscionable for any civilised government to allow this kind of thing to happen. What does it say about us as a nation and the EU? I’m ashamed. Italy is to be commended for its humanity.Robert, ex-pat Brit.

  4. James Lees 24 Aug 2007, 8:30pm

    thank you for giving Pegah’s cased publicity. http://www.arcigay.it called it ‘the case that Britain wants to hide’ – they organised a campaign to lobby Mr prodi and have a sit down demonstration outsidr the British Embassy planned fot 27 August.it would be better for Pegah if she were allowed to stay with the friends she has made in the 2 years she has been here, but at least she will get to stay alive.Are we too complacent in lgbt Britain? I am ashamed that no campaing was fronted for Pegah here. who has linjs with Amnesty of the antiDeportation groups?

  5. James, its a disgrace isn’t it? What an embarrassment for the foreign office and the government in general, not one MP speaking out from either side. Like I said previously, if Brown and Cameron were so supportive of equality and human rights, they would have intervened, or better yet, called for a revamping our asylum laws. Its nothing more than homophobia, plain and simple. I’m surprised Amnesty International didn’t get involved. I think the EU should pass laws prohibiting people from being deported back to totalitarian, antigay regimes. At least Italy had the compassion and the decency to accept her. I’m thoroughly disgusted and appalled at and with our government and gay organisations altogether for doing nothing. Our government only acts on these things when international pressure is put upon it, foot-dragging is de rigueur on gay issues, lets face it and we wouldn’t have had any semblance of equality had it not been for EU directives which included the right for us to serve openly in the military and Labour took all the credit. Nothing to be proud of. A shameful situation. Cameron also has shown his true colours by saying nothing about this serious problem. Spineless bastards. If I were gay and from outside the EU, the UK would be the last place I’d want to seek asylum because I know I would never get it. I’d rather go to Holland, Belgium, or Spain where there is more compassion and decency and whose governments truly believe in equality and human rights.Robert, ex-pat Brit.

  6. If you actually want to do something to help this person stay in the UK. Send an email to:homesecretary.submissions@homeoffice.gsi.gov.ukand put “For the personal attention of the Home Secretary” in the subject line.And do it quickly.

  7. William, thank you for the information, I’ve already sent an email to the home secretary, lets hope we can all be of help to this poor woman.Robert, ex-pat Brit.

  8. The situation with asylum seekers in the UK, in my opinion, is this… Asylum and immigration generally is VERY, VERY politically charged. Lots of British people perceive (in my expereince) that our society is being changed for the worse and that our welfare system is being abused by immigrants (who are perceived to have contributed nothing)… in my opinion many people perceive they can’t get social housing because immigrants jump the queue… their gran has to wait longer for a hip replacement becuase the NHS is overwhelmed by immigrants… immigrants are coining it in from the benefits system… why do asylum seekers travel through many other european countries to get to the UK…what’s wrong with france, germany, belgium etc,,,the suicide bombers are all claiming income support, have social housing and in return try to murder us…etc etc etc. As I say these are the perceptions I have heard from many people (including from gay men)…it’s all whipped by the media (in my opinion).No asylum seeker being deported gets much attention here. The perceptions I have mentioned is the reason why.My big concern of course is that there are people who really do face persecution or even death if they are sent back to the country they are from. What about them? Hence the need for those of us who give a toss to scream and shout when such situations occur.

  9. James Lees 26 Aug 2007, 9:09am

    One of the prices we pay for being accepted into mainstream society, is that we forget how it feels to be marginalised and persecuted – I can’t remember when I was last properly insulted or humiliated for being gay. But other aspects of gay culture – the ability to have a good time and go a over the top – have been taken and commercialised to an obscene extent.We’d better hope and pray that the booze and fashion industries don’t stop making a fortune out of us, and that the Christians don’t have a big revival, because when any of that happens, they will drop us fast and we won’t know how to cope with being back in the cold again.In the meantime, Gay Britain dances on and does not care or dare to look at people like Pegah – she has no commercial value, she brings us down and we might have to look at how thin the ice is on which we are really dancing.Issues like deportation, poverty, the environment, welfare benefits, addiction, violence in relationships, depression, oh, all of it, make your own list, are our business, but I do not see them featuring in the gay websites beside celebs, parties, holiday destinations and all the rest.Why not host a campaign to encourage all gay people to join and organisation of their choice and give it just a little commitment. Lots would change and the government would not be able to hide any more Pegahs

  10. William, I echo your feelings 101%. Racism is also part of the problem in addition to homophobia, whether we like to admit it or not. We Brits in general are suspicious of anyone who isn’t one of us and when something goes wrong in the society, what do we do? We denigrate immigrants and gays, the latter being the most hated of all, they have to hate someone, so why not us? We don’t even really like white immigrants because they’re “foreign”. We’re a nation of hypocrites and bigots, morally superior to everybody else on the planet. On the one hand we delude ourselves into thinking we’re this great nation of freedom and democracy, yet on the other, it doesn’t apply to the non-native Briton of whatever colour including white. We forget our history of state sanctioned slavery, colonialism and imperialism that subjugated more than one fifth of the world, we forced others to think that we were superior to them and there is still a remnant of that left in our society today, the National Front is one such organisation that comes to mind. Is it no wonder we rarely ever grant asylum to anyone, let alone gay people fleeing persecution with a genuine well-founded fear of death? Remember, we even turned away boatloads of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany that ultimately sent them to the death camps. Make no mistake, our government, whoever is in office, would make no attempt to help even its own home-grown gay citizens caught in a similar situation overseas. So much for democracy, freedom, human rights and common decency. We may espouse such ideals but we hardly honor, uphold or respect them. Nothing to be proud of!Robert, ex-pat Brit.

  11. Robert, I think you are going a bit over the top frankly. For all it’s faults, on the whole I personally do like living in this country.

  12. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED Organi 29 Aug 2007, 7:16pm

    Viva Italia! Viva Venezia!. I want to endorse the remarks made by ‘ex-pat’ Robert, in the sense that the defining characteristic of the social order in England, rule by the very rich and by an aristocracy have not changed since the days of colonialism and the slave trade. There have been many reforms in the wake of trade union militancy. Some, like the ban on slavery, are significant, although that occurred after slavery became less profitable. Working and living conditions have improved enormously, but again, because of bitter and hard fought battles by working people. However, Thatcherism was not an aberration and confirms that they’re always in jeopardy. However good these reforms may be they’re still cosmetic as opposed to fundamental. The rich still rule unchallenged and unchanged, and have demonstrated time and again their willingness to gut the lives of working people to stay on top. The World Wars, from 1914 to 1945 are a prime example. Close to 100,000,000 civilians and military personnel died as a direct result of this generation long battle for world domination, and who won? The English? The Americans? The French? The Japanese? The Russians? The Germans? No, the rich won. The needless communal war that accompanied the partition of the Indian subcontinent is another, and the continued colonial occupation of part of Ireland and the murder of Irish citizens and resistance fighters by crazed Paisleyites and Brit soldiers is a third. The idea that all is well in England and that English working people are guaranteed to lie down in sunlit pastures is a bit more than premature. It’s hogwash. It’s not safe or smart to get smug about things, and I think that the general drift of Roberts ideas on the subject are right.

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