Open Letter to the Home Office

Open letter to the Home Office,

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
5th Floor, Counting House, 53 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QN England

Telephone: 020 7211 1500
Fax: 020 7211 1553

Copies to the UK media and Mr Richard Caborn,

MP for Sheffield Central

Re: Pegah Emam Bakhsh

21 August 2007

Pegah is a young Iranian woman who faces deportation from the UK. She applied for asylum in the UK fearing her life in Iran as a lesbian. She was refused asylum by the British authorities. Last week she was detained without warning and sent to Yarlswood for deportation on 16th August. At the very last minute she was granted stay until August 27th so her MP for Sheffield Central, Mr. Richard Caborn, could look at her case. Another report states that a new removal date has been issued for August 23rd at 9.21.

The Iranian Queer Organization – IRQO ( tel: 001-416-548-4171) has been active to stop Pegah’s deportation. We sincerely hope that Mr. Caborn together with the active role of IRQO can save Pegah from being deported to Iran where she will be arrested tortured and most likely executed.

In Iran, homosexuality is a crime and punishable by hanging or stoning. The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed many homosexuals openly and in public. It is a well known fact.

We support Pegah’s application for political refugee status in the UK and urge all to oppose the UK government’s decision to deport her and support her case. Pegah SHOULD NOT be deported. She has, according to international human rights convention the right to be granted refugee status by the British government. If deported to Iran she will be persecuted for her sexual orientation and the British government will be in breach of its agreed human rights convention.

What are the real issues here? Increasing the number of deportees to meet the targets? Or deport her and see what happens? When she is tortured in Iran then she will have a strong case for asylum?! With the publicity she has now, the chances of the latter are more probable. Would that help the British authorities? Will it set the record straight? A battered or dead woman’s body proving the British authorities wrong! What a civilised way to settle the matter. One thing is sure if Pegah is returned to Iran the target has been met! We are talking about human life not statistics. Pegah has to be saved.

Comments are closed.