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GAY IRANIAN FACES DEPORTATION

Wed, 26 December 2007

It was not the Christmas present that a young gay Iranian wanted.

A court in the Netherlands has ruled that Mehdi, a gay Iranian teenager, has to be returned to the United Kingdom, where he faces deportation back to Iran.

He fled England last autumn when a Home Office tribunal dismissed his appeal against deportation.

“I was refused the right to appeal of asylum in the Netherlands because of the Dublin Treaty,” he said by telephone on Monday.

The Dublin Treaty, or Convention, is a European Union law that prevents asylum applicants from applying in multiple members states.

“Obviously, I am very disappointed at judge’s decision. My lawyer is making a final appeal to the Netherlands High Court,” he added.

Mehdi, who is 19, said that he was worried that the early decision from the court – the decision was expected to be handed down early in the New Year – meant that his deportation to the UK would be made over the holiday period.

“My main fear at the moment is that the UK Home Office would disregard appeals and send me back to Iran before any offices reopened after the holiday,” he said.

The young Iranian said he is frightened that he will be executed if he is return to Iran.

Before leaving Iran in 2004 to continue his education in England – he had a student visa issued by the UK authorities – Mehdi had a boyfriend. It was while he was in the UK that he learned that the Iranian authorities had arrested his boyfriend, who had given interrogators Mehdi’s name before apparently being executed.

One of the main reasons that Mehdi’s asylum appeal failed was because the tribunal judge found that dates on Iranian paperwork did not tally with what the teenager had said, his uncle, who lives in southern England, told UK Gay News.

The tribunal apparently refused to accept that the Iranian calendar is different from the Western (Gregorian) calendar.

UK Gay News

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