It should quite frankly surprise noone that Mehdi Kazemi should have already been deported back to the UK without any mainstream British news agencies noticing at all, but he’s now here and a free man – at least as long as Home Secretary Jacqui Smith chooses to keep it that way of course. Her position is unchanged about reviewing his application, but until/unless the Home Office changes its policy of requiring additional information with which to change their minds about an asylum application, it’s hard to see what will change here. It’s also a serious concern that the Home Office’s ignorance on the plight of gay people Iran is so thorough and so unapologetic.
If we are to guarantee his safety, we must push as a international community, be we concerned gay bloggers or Conservative MEPs, and keep it politically impossible for Smith to send Mehdi back to a certain death. The Home Office’s most recently stated position was 18th March 2008 in the House of Lords and it’s one which should alarm everyone:
we are not aware of any individual who has been executed in Iran in recent years solely on the grounds of homosexuality, and we do not consider that there is systematic persecution of gay men in Iran.
Keep his case as visible as possible and keep an eye here too.