Please support this URGENT call for support for Asghar Hedayati, a 40 years-old Iranian gay man from Norway — he may be sent back within a few days to a country where numerous gay men are currently on death row.
This urgent CALL TO ACTION comes via Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR). They say that Hedayati has been seeking asylum in Norway since 2003. He is one of IRQR refugee cases who has not lucky so far, but he is still fighting for his rights.
“I was waiting for good news, everyday for the last seven years,” he says. “I was optimistic that I can start a normal life here in Norway. Unfortunately, it did not happen for me, I lost my hope, energy, happiness, and future when I got negative answers from Norwegian authority.
“There is no light for my future now but I never ever give up,” Asghar says in a letter to Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees – IRQR.
Asghar was in love with his boyfriend, Mr. J [for security reason we can not publish his name] and they were so happy but their happiness until Asghar’s family forced him to get married.
It was really difficult time for Asghar and “J” as they could not ‘come out’ for their families and Asghar did not have any reason to convince his family that he did not want to get married. Finally, he was forced to get married.
“I did not love her, I did not like her, and she was not the right person at all,” he says. “We lived together but we were together just at kitchen table. I could not stop thinking about [Mr. J] for a moment.”
After all the difficulties, he left Iran for Denmark and sought refugee status on basis of his sexual orientation. Unfortunately, his asylum application was refused by the Danish government and he was scared to death because he did not want to be deported back to Iran.
So he fled Denmark, going to Norway where he applied for asylum. At that time, he did not imagine that one day he will be in the same situation again. He has now received a letter from the Norwegian government that he has to leave by January 25, 2010 and he does not know what will happen in next day.
He has been told by the Norwegian authorities he can go back to Iran and “nothing will happen for you if you do not come out”.
“How it can be possible? Can they recommend it to Norwegians as well to just shut up and do not ask your basic rights?” Asghar said.
His life is now in danger and the Norwegian government has to grant his asylum because there a lot of evidence that Iranian gays in Iran are threatened because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. There is no doubt his life will be in danger.
Asghar Hedayati is in an unjust situation and needs your urgent action. Please show your support by writing to the Norwegian government to urge them to grant refugee status to Asghar Hedayati. You may copy and paste the sample letters (below) into an email and send it to the provide emails below or you may write your own letter in support of Asghar Hedayati. Please CC IRQR: firstname.lastname@example.org for tracking purposes. Thank you for your support.
* UK Gay News: “Now I Have Lost Hope” – Gay Iranian Who Faces Deportation from Norway in Hours* Twelve Men Face Execution for Sodomy in Iran: For first time, activist confirms queer organizing on university campuses (Doug Ireland, published in Gay City News)* From Teheran to Riyadh, this is how we are discriminated against* Human Rights Watch: Iran prepares to execute gay teens
Send your letters to:
Mr. Knut Storberget
Minister of Justice and the Police
Phone: Switchboard +47 22 24 90 90
Mailing address: Postboks 8005 Dep, 0030 Oslo, Norway
Immigration Appeals Board of Norway – Utlendingsnemnda
Telephone: +47 21 08 50 00
Mailing address: Utlendingsnemnda, Postboks 8165 dep. 0034 Oslo, Norway
In addition, if you or your organization is interested in hosting an event to support Asghar Hedayat or interview him, please contact us at email@example.com as soon as possible. Thank you for your support.
– – – – – – Sample Letter – – – – –
To: Minister of Justice and Police, Mr. Knut Storberget, firstname.lastname@example.org
Immigration Appeals Board of Norway, email@example.com
CC: IRQR, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Norway threatens to deport Asghar Hedayati to Iran – Please stop him deportation
I am contacting you to request your assistance on a very urgent case involving Asghar Hedayati a gay Iranian, who is currently in Norway. I received some information about him through the IRanian Railroad for Queer Refugees, based in Toronto, Canada.
Asghar Hedayati is a citizen of Iran, with case number DUF 2003 046 114 08. He escaped Iran in 2003 because of his well-known fear of persecution on basis of his sexual orientation. He applied for asylum in August 2003, but the Norwegian Government unfortunately denied his asylum status for several times and he is now at risk for deportation.
His asylum judge said that he can live in Iran if does not ‘come out’, which is against fundamental human rights. I would like to express my deep concern about his situation, as he will experience imprisonment, torture, and even execution upon his forced return to Iran.
I am urging you to reconsider this case under the spirit of respect for human rights and I am requesting you to grant Iranian queer refugees the full state of asylum in Norway because there a lot of evidence that Iranian queers in Iran are threatened because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.