The media has been full of debate and discussion about the deportation of a convicted killer to Italy. I don't want to get into that debate, except to note that the consequences for Learco Chindamo of deportation to Italy would be relatively inconsequential when compared to the probable fate of Pegah Emambakhsh, an Iranian lesbian, about whom there hasn't been a single
column inch in the mainstream media.
Pegah Emambakhsh is an Iranian national who sought asylum in the UK in 2005. Her claim was rejected and she was arrested in Sheffield on Monday 13th August 2007. She is scheduled for
deportation to Iran on 7 August 2007. If returned to Iran, she faces certain imprisonment, likely severe lashings and possibly even stoning to death. Her crime in Iran is her sexual orientation - she was in a same-sex relationship.
Ms Emambakhsh escaped from Iran, claiming asylum, after her lover was arrested, tortured and subsequently sentenced to death by stoning. Her father was also arrested and interrogated about her whereabouts. He was eventually released but not before he had been tortured himself. Ms Emambakhsh has a more than well founded fear of persecution if she is returned to Iran. She belongs to a group of people - gays and lesbians - who, it is well known, are severely persecuted in Iran.
According to Iranian human rights campaigners, many lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs came to power in 1979. In 2006 a German court ruled that an Iranian lesbian could not be deported as she risked death because of her sexuality. The UK Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) have chosen not to believe that she is in danger if returned to Iran, even though the UK government are well aware of the dangerous situation
that gay people face there.
The BIA will be committing a serious miscarriage of justice and a gross human rights violation if they insist on Ms Emambakhsh's deportation. The Asylum Seeker Support Initiative in Sheffield are now getting Pegah new solicitors in order to make a fresh claim for asylum based on new evidence and expert testimonies. A stay of deportation is needed to give Pegah time to prepare and submit this fresh claim.
Pegah's MP, Richard Caborn, has already won one stay of deportation and is working secure another postponement of deportation on 27 August. You can help. Please write or email asap the British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and to Pegah's British constituency MP, Richard Caborn.
Pegah Emambakhsh's Home Office reference number is: B1191057. This number must be quoted in any letter, so the Home Office can identify and access her case.
Faxes and emails need to be sent TODAY, Friday 24 August, at the latest. Mark all correspondence "For the personal attention of..." Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP, Home Secretary,
2, Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF. Fax no: + 44 (0) 207 035 3262 or +44 (0) 207 035 2362
political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
Friday, August 24, 2007
The Twisted Logic of the UK Deportation System
If any story was evidence of the twisted priorities of our Immigration policy, this one does. Hattip to Harry's Place...
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It just goes to show how perverted and plain stupid the government is!
IF you are a Islamist terrorist then welcome aboard and how about first dibs on council housing and benifits?
If you are a serious criminal then come on in NuLabour will look after your needs!
BUT if you are a VC hero then bugger off you are not welcome! If you are fleeing an evil Islamist regime in genuine fear then go away! because we cant upset the Islamists can we?
What have the Iranians got on NuLabour? there must be something because the British caved in so easily on the naval surrender fiasco! NuLabour have sent British soldiers to their deaths in and with rubbish kit and I am not surprised that they will happily send a lesbian to a horrible and cruel death by stoning or public strangulation!
The sneering and cold arrogance of the NuLabour commisars is making good people sick! I can only hope that a Conservative administration would be better able to keep the scum out while giving refuge to genuine people like her.
On a brighter note I see that commisars Brown & Merkal were booed and jeered at! bet we wont see that on the BBC!
Yet more nonsense to make my blood boil. Not sure i can take much more!
So it's more dangerous for people to be sent to Italy than it is to Iran?
This country is upside down.
It is all very well to make political debating points - I hope you are writing in to support this woman's case. Her Labour MP Richard Caborn seems to be making maximum efforts on her behalf.
I certainly do not know where you are coming from. Iain has placed the details of who and where to write to. I take it you have already written.
Typical Labour,throw insults and attempt to make a (poor) political point.
It is this bloody governments unbelievable deportation policy which you should be moaning about.
Climb back into your hole!
I'm sorry you are all wrong.
The UK Immigration and Deportation system is designed to keep criminals safe ...in the UK where they can benefit from UK state benefits and deport those who have not been found guilty of criminal acts in the UK.
So far it is working as it is designed ..
Oh I forgot to add: and for the benefit of lawyers.. (see the legal bills).
I don't think that Chindamo was spared deportation because he was (a) an asylum-seeker or (b) at risk of torture etc.
Chindamo was spared because he holds an EU passport and is covered by EU regulations, which hold that deporting a criminal from England to Italy is really little different from sending a criminal from London back to Liverpool.
So the "Italy is more dangerous than Iran" point is just silly.
I also note that this posting cites a lenient judgement in Germany. Perhaps the unfortunate lady should seek asylum there instead - it often seems that jurisdiction-shopping is very much in fashion among the internationally footloose.
There are very many countries between Iran and The UK, some of them quite liberal - did this lady not try any of them first?
Is this lady (and/or her supporters)not smart enough to find a safe third country that will accept her claim?
I wonder if the BIA is concerned that asylum on the grounds of homosexuality will open the floodgates for any Iranian who simply fancies a new life?
After all, having been coached into claiming to be gay on arrival, it will almost certainly be a violation of a person's human rights to actually question the validity of that assertion.
This case is lot less tidy than the campaigners imply.
I want to second the post by 'Anon and on'. The comparison with the Chindamo case is weak. He was not deported because he is an EU citizen and nothing to do with torture. Also I see no attempt to comment on the weaknesses of this woman’s claim. The lesbian/gay persecution claim is an easy one to fake and there are countless bogus asylum claimants who make it. I imagine this woman may be at risk of deportation because her story is seriously doubted in some way. Perhaps her story has changed, it is not uncommon for claimants to change their stories after spending time in the UK. They may realise their original claim is weak and start to bolster it with aspects of other peoples successful claims. Either that or her failure to claim asylum when she first arrived or in any of the other liberal countries she passed through on the way here has weakened her claim. Naturally you are only seeing one side of the story here.
If you think either of the above reasons are insufficient grounds to deport then you have to accept that we could never turn away any asylum claimant from any third world country.
How about the MCB adopting this lady as their "Gay and Lesbian Spokesperson". No?
How about if this lady says she "has a right to a family life"...this seems the weasel word du jour. I suppose when it is actually valid and reasonable to assert it, the lawyers and judges will not uphold it.
Nu Labour - self loathers and hypocrites.
p.s. if my family had been tortured and I was about to be stoned, I would "shop" for a place to escape. Anon and on is clearly too much a automaton to consider it.
It is not about people faking their sexuality in this case, but knowing the half-arsed bunch of schyster lawyers that make up the Labour Party I suspect they will ammend the law so that it does just that.
They really are in turns both authoritarian scumbags and incompetent nightwatchmen.
Part of the point Roger is that we only have her word for it that her family have been stoned and tortured over her sexuality. If we have reason to doubt her word on her sexuality the rest of her story is also in doubt. Do the words economic migrant mean anything to you?
rk - I agree. It's easy for would-be asylum seekers to invent stuff about being gay etc and immigration officials have a difficult job. In this case, I know that Richard Caborn MP is a good guy, if he is supporting this woman then I am sure she has a genuine case. I trust that Iain is now following this up personally with the Home Office. But he must agree that much of the paranoia about asylum-seekers was originally whipped up by his own party and the two former leaders who attempted to win elections on this issue.
This case falls within the scope of Article 3 ECHR. One need not rely upon the Refugee Convention. See Jabari for example below:
Her legal team need to frame their challenge appropriately.
The news came through to Japan via internet. Now, the Japanese gay community is 100% supporting Ms Pegah's case. And I am one of them. I just hope people to stop using the name of god to commit murder.
I am British and I have been married for 24 years and the bastards are going to deport my wife now. They are mad people and do not belong at the helm of our country. We want the arseholes out.
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