A 19-year-old gay man from Iran who was refused asylum in Britain and fled to Holland will be deported back to the UK, according to gay rights activists connected with his case.
Mehdi Kazemi had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.
He faces possible execution by stoning if he returns to Iran.
Activists have pledged to take his case the EU courts after a Dutch ruling that he must be returned to the UK.
Omar Kuddus of GayAsylum UK said:
“The fight is not yet over.
“As you can imagine this is a bitter defeat and the deportation back to Iran must be stopped at any cost.”
Mehdi left Iran in 2004 to travel to England on a student visa to continue his education.
Two years later while still in the UK he learned that Iranian authorities had arrested his boyfriend Parham back in Iran, and that his boyfriend had been forced to name Mehdi as someone with whom he had had a relationship.
Mehdi’s father then received a visit from the Tehran police, with an arrest warrant for his son.
In late April 2006, Mehdi’s uncle told him Parham had been put to death.
Mehdi will have to be repatriated to Iran because according to the British government, he does not run any risk there.
He fled in secret from England, intending to take refuge in Canada, but was blocked by the German border police.
After hearing his story, he was sent to Holland, a country known for granting refugee status to Iranian homosexuals, and again handed over to the police.
However, the United Kingdom sent a formal request to Holland asking for Mehdi’s return to Britain, in order to proceed with his deportation to Iran.
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, said the organisation is “deeply disturbed” about his case.
“There is incontrovertible evidence that lesbian and gay people face danger in Iran and we will be raising this once again with the Home Secretary.”
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told PinkNews.co.uk: “Mehdi has fallen foul of a European Union regulation which stipulates that an asylum seeker can only claim refugee status in their first country of arrival.
“Any attempt by Britain to return Mehdi to Iran will put him at risk of arrest, imprisonment, torture and possible execution.”