Current Affairs

Extreme protest wins gay asylum seeker a stay in UK

Divya Guha July 23, 2007
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An ayslum seeker who sewed shut his eyes and lips in protest at being returned to Iran has been granted leave to remain in the UK.

Shahin Portofeh, 27, an gay Iranian national, was seeking asylum in Coventry, but he was deported from the UK after his application was rejected.

Despite his protests that he would be persecuted in his home country because of his sexuality, he was sent back.

He experienced a harrowing time in Iran, where he was jailed, lashed, tortured and ultimately faced execution.

He escaped from custody in Iran and returned to Coventry.

Iran is one of the six countries where homosexuality is punished with a death penalty.

Although there is relief for Mr Portofeh, it is notable that there is no official policy supporting the right of refugees to claim asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation.

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