IDAHO: Save Kiana Firouz

// 17 May 2010

Kiana Firouz is an Iranian lesbian activist, filmmaker and actress who has been living in the UK since the Iranian Intelligence Service caught wind of her documentary work on the plight of homosexuals in Iran. They began following her and, fearing for her safety, she fled to the UK and applied for asylum.

In Iran, lesbianism is punishable by 100 lashes, and should a woman be found guilty four times, she will be sentenced to execution by hanging for ‘unrepentent homosexuality’. Firouz’s appearance in Cul de Sac (above), a film based on her own life and featuring lesbian sex scenes, combined with her outspoken activism, means she is highly unlikely to escape this fate should she be deported. Despite all this, the Home Office have actually refused her application for asylum.

The Everyone Group is spearheading a campaign to keep Firouz in the UK:

The EveryOne activists invite concerned readers to send protest e-mail messages to the British Home Office (public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk) requesting that Kiana receive refugee status as soon as possible, for she is a symbol of the international fight against homophobia and repression of gays and lesbians in Islamic countries.

You can also show your support by signing this petition and writing to:

Minister of State (Borders and Immigration)

Home Office, 2 Marsham Street

London SW1P 4DF

or

Secretary of State for the Home Department

Home Office, 2 Marsham Street

London SW1P 4DF.

And next time you see or hear someone complaining about how our UK government supposedly bends over backwards to welcome “bogus” asylum seekers, ask them whether they really want the death of innocent women like Kiana Firouz on their conscience. Because while our government may voice its homophobia through the appointment of an anti-gay Equalities Minister, the Iranian government voices its prejudice through the whip and the noose. No decent human being should tolerate either.

Read more at Coilhouse.

For other ways to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, please see the IDAHO website.

Comments From You

Liz // Posted 17 May 2010 at 8:31 am

Shame the Home Secretary is the one and the same Equalities Minister.

Laura // Posted 17 May 2010 at 11:19 am

@ Liz, Oh crap, good point. I’d hope she wouldn’t be so homophobic that she’d like to see lesbians dead though…

Elmo // Posted 17 May 2010 at 11:42 am

signed

SnowdropExplodes // Posted 17 May 2010 at 2:07 pm

Snail mail letter posted (I’ve heard that that’s the most effective form of communication for campaigning to ministers), and posted about this at my blog.

Apparently the Borders & Immigration minister is Tory Damian Green, who was arrested for leaking confidential govt information to the press while he was shadow for that dept. I don’t know if he’s more or less likely than Ms May to be sympathetic to this cause.

Liz // Posted 17 May 2010 at 8:31 pm

@Laura I emailed her and appealed to her sense of shame, asking her to make a stand against her previous record. Let’s see if it makes any difference.

Cycleboy // Posted 18 May 2010 at 1:16 pm

I’ve just read the following on the BBC web site. A rather thought-provoking difference between the rulings of these two cases.

“The alleged leader of an al-Qaeda plot to bomb targets in north-west England has won his appeal against deportation.

A special immigration court said Abid Naseer was an al-Qaeda operative – but could not be deported because he faced torture or death back home in Pakistan. ”

cim // Posted 20 May 2010 at 11:20 am

Some positive news – hopefully it’s not too late for Kiana Firouz herself. The new programme for government contains:

“We will stop the deportation of asylum seekers who have had to leave particular countries because their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution.”

W. Hunter Roberts // Posted 24 May 2010 at 9:41 pm

Until women everywhere are free to decide what we choose to do with our own bodies, none of us is truly free. Kiana Firouz’s problem is every woman’s problem.

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