Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Urgent Action - Britain and Iran

A gay teenager from Iran, whose boyfriend was hanged for homosexuality in his own country is now being threatened by the British Government with deportation to almost certain persecution and probably death. More at the Independent here.

Peter Tatchell, of the gay rights campaign group Outrage, described the Government's policy as "outrageous and shameful". He said: "If Mehdi is sent back to Iran he will be at risk of execution because of his homosexuality. This is a flagrant violation of Britain's obligations under the refugee convention.

"It is just the latest example of the Government putting the aims of cutting asylum numbers before the merits of individual cases. The whole world knows that Iran hangs young, gay men and uses a particularly barbaric method of slow strangulation. In a bid to fulfil its target to cut asylum numbers the Government is prepared to send this young man to his possible death. It is a heartless, cruel mercenary anti-refugee policy."

More, including action that can be taken, from LGBT Greens here.

We urge everyone to contact the Home Secretary at and 020 7035 4848 and to sign the online petition at

Peter Tatchell also posted on the Guardian Comment is Free site yesterday about the campaign to free jailed Iranian Trade Unionists, with plenty of links for further info and action. I did think Peter's condemnation of the "revolutionary" left for not being involved in this campaign was a bit "broad brush" - some groups have been, others haven't. By all means criticise the spinelessness of some elements of the left eager to appease dubious temporary allies, but we must try not to use the tactic we criticise in them of tarring everyone who shares similar politics with the same brush on a particular issue or campaign. Things are more complicated than that. That aside, well done to Peter for highlighting this important campaign.

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