There are no Gay Rights in Iran

There are no Gay Rights in Iran

EveryOne Group, IRQR and a network of human rights organizations are asking the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Turkish Government for international protection and asylum for Roodabeh and Ali, two Iranian homosexuals.

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Milan, June 12, 2009

Roodabeh is a 30-year-old lesbian woman who left Iran in February 2008 to flee from the persecution that the regime of President Ahmadinejad reserves for homosexuals; persecution that foresees in many cases – according to a ruthless interpretation of Islamic law – prison sentences, torture and even death. Ali is a 29-year-old gay. He too was forced to leave Iran to escape the repression in January 2008. Once in Turkey, Roodabeh and Ali applied for asylum to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Ankara section) on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

EveryOne Group, Human Rights international organization, would point out that the right of asylum, as laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 14) and finalized by the Geneva Convention, is one of the fundamental rights of human beings, and is recognised by civil countries to those fleeing from violence and persecution. Turkey signed the Geneva Convention and has saved many human lives by acknowledging their status as refugees and offering them humanitarian protection. However, Turkey’s present policies where the rights of refugees and asylum seekers are concerned, have recently become more restrictive. So much so that Amnesty International has recently brought to international attention the repeated violations of the Geneva Convention in the Republic of Turkey, as well as the episodes of abuse carried out by the police against refugees. Roodabeh and Ali live in fear of being repatriated as the Iranian authorities are aware of their flight and the reason they were forced to seek asylum. If they were to be deported, they would have little chance of being spared this persecution.

They live in a state of anguish (as well as discrimination, seeing they are both foreigners and homosexuals) knowing their lives are in danger. They survive only thanks to the commitment of individuals and human rights organizations, but their condition will deteriorate rapidly if their right to international protection is not urgently recognised.

This is why EveryOne Group, working alongside Iranian Queer Railroad (IRQR) and a network of human rights organizations, is promoting a campaign and appealing to the UN High Commission for Refugees to recognise their legitimate right to international protection and asylum.

EveryOne Group activists must point out that Roodabeh and Ali have been awaiting the decision of the High Commission for many months, without financial support, social assistance or programmes of insertion into the work force.

A petition has been submitted to ask international and Turkish authorities and institutions to grant immediate asylum status to the two Iranian homosexuals. You can sign it at

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