How Britain is sending a woman to her death, and what you can do about it

// 27 April 2010

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In this guest post, Shreen Ayob sets out the situation facing Bita Ghaedi and how to help stop the UK government’s dangerous plan to deport her

Free Ghaedi.jpgAn oft used excuse for apathy is confusion, unknown facts and vague issues. This story has none of those, and I urge you to take action.

Bita Ghaedi’s story is simple. She fled to the UK to escape an unhappy and abusive family situation, as well as an unhappy marriage.

The Home Office denied Bita Ghaedi’s first application for asylum in 2007. In response, she made an unsuccessful suicide attempt. In the years that passed, Bita feared being sent back to Iran at any time. She is subsequently suffering from intense, relentless stress which according to her current partner (a prominent member of the Iranian opposition), has turned her hair white. She also became involved in activism with the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI).

Not only is it a very real threat that her family (brother, father, husband and other male relatives) may try to kill her for so-called ‘honour’ reasons, but her political associations with the PMOI put her at even more risk if she is deported.

Bita’s partner Mohsen Zadshir writes: “The Home Office is determined to send Bita to the hands of Iranian brutal regime. As you all know, Bita has raised her voice against the fundamentalist Shari’a Law. She has been interviewed by the satellite TV of Iranian opposition and the footage has been broadcasted all over Iran. According to the Iranian regime Bita’s support for the PMOI makes her a ‘Mohareb’ – enemy of God, and is punished by death penalty.”

What the British government are doing to Bita is illegal according to UN guidelines.

The deportation was due on April 20th but was delayed by the Icelandic volcanic ash fiasco. The new date has been set as May 5th. Let’s keep the pressure up on the Home Office to stop this deportation.

Five actions you can take to halt Bita’s deportation

Shreen is a volunteer for the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO), who support Bita’s case. Her personal website is

Comments From You

Joanne // Posted 28 April 2010 at 8:19 am

Just to add a detail to Shreen’s excellent article: according to Bita’s twitter (bitagheadi), she’s been rescheduled for deportation on May 5th 2010 at 7pm flight BD931.

michael mcbrearty // Posted 28 April 2010 at 1:56 pm

Cant believe I have not heard of this,its an outrage.With Gary Mckinnon and this Alan Johnson has shown he has no decency at all.

Shreen // Posted 29 April 2010 at 4:05 pm

The worrying thing is that everyone is turning a blind eye to this. I have spent all day contacting newspapers and have been faced with indifference most of the time. One particular editor told me that the ‘goverment is too busy campaigning to revoke this decision’ !

I’m losing my mind.

Maria Rohay // Posted 30 April 2010 at 3:38 am

Dearest Shreen – thank you so much for covering Bita’s case like this – especially highlighting the lack of media attention. It is absolutely appalling.

What’s worse is that Bita has actually has MORE attention than some of other three Iranian activists that the UK is getting ready to deport to their deaths in Iran, including the pregnant Nadia Arzane & her partner Bashir Foris.

Kiana Firouz is another who is subject to the death penalty if the UK returns her to Iran because she is a lesbian.

We have been working on the cases of these 4 Iranian UK-based asylum seekers, and 1 in Japan, Jamal Saberi. The one thing that they all have in common is that the mainstream media REFUSES to cover their stories. Further, even though Amnesty Intl and Human Rights Watch have in several of the cases become involved on the ground, they have not issued any statements on their behalf nor have they even mentioned them in their sites. This dereliction of duty by mainstream human rights orgs actually damages these asylum-seekers because people don’t believe the cases until Amnesty or HRW gives them their “blessing.”

In short, there is plenty of blame to go around for the present appalling circumstances, from the inhumane deportation policies of the UK, to the studious silence of the mainstream media, to the inexplicable inability of Amnesty, HRW, and UNHCR to decry, let alone try to stop, these llegal acts of deportation by the UK and Japan.

If we thought the days of “we are the media” for Iran ended with the street protests, we were wrong. It is up to citizens worldwide to take responsibility; our social institutions and mainstream organizations are failing miserably, and have been for quite some time.

Shreen // Posted 30 April 2010 at 12:41 pm


Can you please email me a contact number I would like to have a quick chat. :)

My email address is:

I had no idea there were others! It is absolutely appalling that mainstream media and human rights organisations ignore these cases. Some complaim that it is ‘merely one person’ but now we can see that they are all adding up and forming a pattern.

The silence is deafening!

bell bajao Fight domestic violence // Posted 5 May 2010 at 9:56 am

Bita Ghaedi’s -unbelieveable why should she suffer why not the abuser-How can British government punish her

Walton K. Martin III // Posted 5 May 2010 at 10:43 am

FANTASTIC NEWS: Bita’s deportation cancelled!! European Court overrules UK Home Office!

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