UNITED KINGDOM. GAY STUDENT WHO FACED EXECUTION IN IRAN GRANTED ASYLUM
May 19, 2008: a gay man who faces the death penalty in Iran won asylum in the UK after protests prompted the Home Secretary to reconsider his case.Â
Family and supporters of Mehdi Kazemi, now 20, welcomed the decision not to send him back to Iran where his boyfriend was arrested by the state police and executed for sodomy.
Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat MP for North Southwark and Bermondsey, said: "I am delighted by the Home Office decision that my constituent Mehdi Kazemi can now stay in this country. This is great news for a very decent guy."
Mr Kazemi came to London to study in 2005, but in April 2006 discovered his gay partner had been arrested and named him as his boyfriend before his execution. Fearing he might suffer the same fate if he returned, Mr Kazemi decided to seek asylum in Britain.
His claim was refused and he fled to the Netherlands where he also failed to win asylum before returning to Britain last month. The UK Border Agency said it had decided to allow him asylum, granting him leave to remain for five years. (Sources: The Independent, 21/05/2008)