An Iranian teenager who was facing deportation and possible execution will have his case reviewed.
The decision was announced moments ago. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:
“Following representations made on behalf of Mehdi Kazemi, and in the light of new circumstances since the original decision was made, I have decided that Mr Kazemi’s case should be reconsidered on his return to the UK from the Netherlands.”
More than 60 members of the House of Lords wrote to Home Secretary yesterday urging the government to “show compassion” to Mehdi Kazemi, who fears he will be executed for homosexual acts if he is returned.
The review announced by the Home Office means the deportation order against him is suspended.
Gay equality organisation Stonewall welcomed the decision to review his case.
“We are delighted that the Home Secretary has listened so closely to the argument put to her,” chief executive Ben Summerskill told PinkNews.co.uk.
“We are also particularly grateful to those members of the House of Lords who raised the case as well.”
Mr Kazemi, 19, was studying in the UK and applied for asylum after his boyfriend was arrested and reportedly executed in Tehran.
The boyfriend named Mehdi as a homosexual, and police turned up at his father’s house with a warrant to arrest him.
His asylum application was unsuccessful in the UK, so Mehdi fled to Holland.
The Dutch authorities ruled earlier this week he should be returned to the UK.