Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Mehdi Kazemi, a 19 year old boy from Iran was granted a visa to pursue his studies in the UK in 2004. Some time later he received news that the Iranian authorities had arrested a male friend of his who had claimed to be in a relationship with Mehdi. Mehdi, afraid to return to Iran, filed for asylum in the UK. When his claim was refused by the home office, Mehdi fled to the Netherlands afraid of the consequences he would face in Iran for the 'crime' of being gay. He is presently held by the police in Rotterdam and is under suicide watch. Recently when the Iranian President was in the US, he claimed that there were no gays in Iran. In a country where being gay is so openly condemned, Mehdi most likely faces the fear of persecution. He is scheduled to be returned to the UK and could face deportation. Should not a 19 year old boy be granted asylum when his life is so obviously in danger on return to his country? And on a larger scale should not something be done about the Iranian government that persecutes the homosexual community in Iran due to their sexual orientation?