1 min

UK to review gay Iranian teen’s refugee claim

Kazemi's deportation temporarily halted

British authorities have temporarily halted the deportation of a gay Iranian teen while they review his case.

Mehdi Kazemi, 19, faces the death penalty if forced to return to his birth country.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Iran. After Kazemi moved to the UK in 2005, his boyfriend was arrested by Iranian state police and executed for sodomy.

Kazemi requested asylum in the UK, but when his application was turned down, he fled to the Netherlands. Dutch authorities examined his case and decided to send him back to the UK.

British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced Mar 13 that Kazemi would be granted a temporary reprieve from deportation.

“Following representations made on behalf of Mehdi Kazemi, and in the light of new circumstances since the original decision was made, I have decided that Mr Kazemi’s case should be reconsidered on his return to the UK from the Netherlands,” said Smith in a statement.

On Mar 13, the European Parliament passed a resolution asking the Netherlands and the UK to “find a common solution to ensure that Mehdi Kazemi is granted asylum or protection on EU soil and not sent back to Iran, where he would be executed.”

The resolution noted that Iranian authorities “routinely imprison, torture and execute homosexuals.”

For more information, visit: