Outspoken London MP George Galloway has said that the boyfriend of Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for sex crimes.
The Respect politician made his claims on Channel Five show The Wright Stuff yesterday morning.
Mr Kazemi is claiming asylum in the UK.
He claims his boyfriend was arrested by police in Iran for being homosexual, forced to reveal the names of men he had relationships with, and executed.
The 19-year-old also said there was a warrant for his arrest as a result of his boyfriend’s confession and he would face execution if he was returned.
He was expected to be deported back to Iran, but yesterday the Home Secretary said she would review his case after pressure from members of the House of Lords and the European Parliament.
Mr Galloway, the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, is well-known for his trenchant views and belief that there is a media conspiracy to portray Iran in a bad light.
“This is being used as part of the on-going propaganda against Iran,” he told presenter Matthew Wright yesterday.
“All the papers seem to imply that you get executed in Iran for being gay. That’s not true.”
Matthew Wright: His boyfriend was hung though, wasn’t he?
George Galloway: Yes, but nor being gay. For uh, committing sex crimes, uh, against young men.
MW: Right …
GG: I mean, I’m against execution for any reason in any place, but it is important to avoid that propaganda.
MW: So you’re saying that his guy they want to deport should be
deported because there is no risk of his sexuality, or he shouldn’t
be deported because there is at risk?
GG: He should not be deported not least because after all this Iranian propaganda he will be accused of being the source, or one of the sources. It would be ridiculous to deport him, and I don’t think he will be deported now.
Gay rights group OutRage! has challenged Mr Galloway to provide proof of his assertions.
“We are calling on George Galloway to explain the source of his claim that Mehdi Kazemi’s boyfriend had committed sex crimes and this was the reason he was executed,” said OutRage! spokesperson Brett Lock.
“Neither OutRage! nor any other human rights group has seen any
evidence to suggest that Mr Kazemi’s partner was a rapist or
“Mr Galloway’s claim that gay people are not executed in Iran is refuted by every reputable human rights body, including
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.”