Current Affairs

Gay asylum seekers sent back to Iran

Katherine Knowles March 22, 2006
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Gay asylum seekers to the Netherlands from Iran will be sent back there, Rita Verdonk, Dutch Immigration minister decides.

She is lifting a ban that was put in place 6 months ago following reports that Iranian homosexuals were being executed. Jean Lambert Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London spoke out against the lifting of the ban, expressing concern that Iranian Lesbian Gay Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT)immigrants would face a frightening and uncertain future. “It is extremely worrying that some EU countries are willing to ignore the advice of the Human Rights Watch and signs of danger in Iran.”

Ms Lambert hoped that more would be done to address Iran’s homophobic policies, which include punishing homophobia by torture, and lashings, commenting: “There is absolutely no excuse for a modern Europe to make allowance’s for those countries tolerating homophobic behaviour and punishment and we must to take a stand against this now.”

The Netherlands had agreed under the European Convention of Human Rights that no one should be deported if their life would be in danger, so deporting LGBT asylum seekers could be seen as an infringement of this agreement.

“The Dutch Government should not even be thinking of lifting such a ban,” said Ms Lambert.

“If we are serious about justice then we need to ensure Europe does not see homophobic acts as acceptable and continues to protect those with their lives in danger.”

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