UK and Netherlands on Gay Iranian Youth: Don’t Ask & Deport


mehdi kazemi.jpgA 20-year old gay Iranian, Mehdi Kazemi, who had been studying in the UK suffered the loss of a boyfriend who was hanged in Iran for his homosexuality. He asked for asylum in the UK and was denied. He then fled to the Netherlands, and Dutch courts also rejected his plea.
However, the European Union has actually stepped up and has done what its member states could seemingly not and provided Kazemi with a human rights waiver from the deportation order he was facing in the UK.
The Human Rights group, Every One, played an enormous role in this effort — and what I hope is done at this point is that Mehdi’s case becomes a template for managing persons in similar kinds of distress.
Does anyone think that either the Dutch government or the British government would have survived the pubic protests had Kazemi been deported to Iran and immediately executed?
This is time to revisit the EU member state’s practice of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and Deport. But bravo from this side of the Atlantic to the increasingly impressive European Parliament.
— Steve Clemons


7 comments on “UK and Netherlands on Gay Iranian Youth: Don’t Ask & Deport

  1. dutchmarbel says:

    A little clarification: the Dutch refused him asylum because he had allready applied in the UK. EU asylum rules are that someone can only apply in one country. So the Dutch had to send him to the country he’d initially applied to.
    The Netherlands doesn’t send homosexuals back to Iran (at the moment). I think they shouldn’t send homosexual asylumseekers back to the UK either, since there is a real risc that they will be send back to Iran. For me it is comparable with not sending criminals to countries where they might be sent to death, even if you have a treaty with the country to normally exchange suspects.
    But most homosexuals don’t re-apply in the Netherlands so I think it is even more important that the UK stops sending homosexuals back – if need be by EU directive. Because Mehdi is appareantly save – but will Pegah Emambakhsh be save too?


  2. Jet says:

    Mehdi is not completely safe yet and he needs all the support he can get!
    Please visit and as well.
    Thnx in advance,


  3. Carroll says:

    Yes…I think the US and the UK govs would survive any outcry from the public if he had been sent back to Iran and hanged.
    We have made outcrys about people being hacked to death in SA, we have made outcrys about Palestine children being killed by the nazi Israelis, we have made outcrys about China killing protesters.
    Like our old friend on here has said…our government is full of monsters…they don’t care.
    Over to Percy for the solution..
    ‘Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number,
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you –
    Ye are many – they are few.
    – Percy B. Shelley


  4. Mr.Murder says:

    Perehaps the initial Judicial decisions brought more scrutiny to this case?
    What appeals process is there for such matters?
    That Europe would fail to heed rights in such an instance would higlight the need for this as a human rights declaration.


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Can’t we just bring him over here and insert him into the White House press corps, and send Jeff Gannon to Iran instead?


  6. Ben Rosengart says:

    Thanks for shining a light on this, Steve.


  7. Chicagoan says:

    I find it beyond belief that he had to go through all this, but at least the right thing happened. Let’s hope some people with some means step up and provide him with the support and networks he’ll need to finish his education and make a new life for himself.


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