Netherlands Stops Deporting Gay Iranians
Yesterday, Radio Netherlands reported that the country will no longer deport gay and Christian Iranians seeking asylum - at least until a new investigation. This is due greatly to the hangings of two gay teenagers in Edalat Square in Mashhad, Iran on July 19, 2005. That, coupled with numerous other reports, was enough to convince the Dutch legislature that the issue should be further researched.
The image of a "safe" Iran comes from reports by the Dutch foreign ministry which claim that gay people face no risk in Iran, even though Iranian leaders have been extremely venemous towards gay people and homosexual deeds have been punishable by lashings and death for ages. Furthermore, the two teenagers were not the only gay people hanged in Iran. Since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took power, many young people accused of homosexual acts have been executed.
Strangely, Dutch officials have been adamantly defending the obviously bogus reports, unexpected from such a liberal country. Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk even stated, "I regularly see reports which show that all kinds of things are faked to be able to come to the Netherlands. There have also been cases of homosexuals who fake being gay, and subsequently join their family with three children here in the Netherlands."
To put it plainly, Verdonk does not want to grant asylum to gay Iranians who may die in Iran because some people would abuse the policy. By this logic, you shouldn't provide food at homeless shelters because some people might not be needy, but just want a free meal.
At least the legislature is not as numb-minded as Verdonk.
If only Britain would follow suit. In the last two years, two gay Iranians have committed suicide because of deportation. A good report on the predicament of a gay Iranian asylum-seeker was published March 21 in U.K. Gay News.