In defence of the Iranian asylum seekers in Würtzburg

Following the tragic suicide of Iranian asylum seeker Mohammad Rahsepar in protest to the abysmal situation of asylum seekers in Wurtzburg, Germany, a group of Iranian asylum seekers, supported by the International Federation of Iranian Refugees, have organised a sit-in since 19 March to bring attention to the plight of asylum seekers in the country. They have been met with huge amounts of support, including the 99% movement joining them in their protest.

That someone who has fled Iran in order to save his life ends up killing himself is testimony enough to the situation faced by innumerable asylum seekers worldwide. The asylum process so dehumanises and criminalises people that it leaves but merely a shell of the previous person at the end of the road. That people can still resist and stand tall is testimony to the human spirit and dignity.

I was involved in refugee work for nearly 20 years but had to stop when I burned out after witnessing untold atrocities against people whose only crime was to dream of another and better life for themselves and their loved ones.

Clearly suicide is not the answer but organised and positive protest is. That is what the brave asylum seekers are doing in Wurtzburg and nothing must stop us from supporting them.

Asylum is a basic right even if every government from Germany to Britain needs reminding of it.

Here’s a video of the protest:

You can leave messages of support below and I will make sure that it reaches them.

(Photo of Hassan Husseinzadeh via Mina Ahadi; video link via Shahnaz Moratab)

Atheist Saeed Khalid must not be deported to Pakistan

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is supporting ‘apostate’ Khalid Saeed’s demand for asylum in Sweden. We are astonished to hear he has been refused asylum and urge the Swedish authorities to reconsider and grant him protection.

Mr Saeed is a long-time member of our organisation. We are an organisation made up of people who have publicly renounced Islam in order to break the taboo that comes with doing so. Although, we in the west are free to make such decisions, notwithstanding the threats and intimidation, in other countries, specifically in this case Pakistan. Given the high exposure of our organisation as well as the well-founded fear of persecution he faces, we believe his life would be in danger if he were to be returned to his country of origin. Mr Saeed has already been attacked for his views on Islam in Pakistan and fears for his safety and life if he is forcibly returned.

To support Mr Khalid’s right to refuge, please sign the petition here.

Bita Ghaedi’s deportation cancelled

Message from Bita and Mohsen: DEPORTATION CANCELLED!

Here is a message from Mission Free Iran.

The below is a mail sent by Mohsen at 9:27pm EST on May 4 2010:

Dear all

Bita’s flight has been cancelled at 6.30pm. Home Office had to cancel Bita’s removal direction after it had been ordered by United Kingdom High Court(5pm) and EU Human Right Court(6pm).

I use this opportunity to express our gratitude to all who support us in different occasions all the time. Even though Bita is still in detention centre and it seems there is a long way to get our aim but it is the hardest step that we could successfully pass with your help and I am sure you will support her till the end.

The solicitor Mr Vasoodoven has already asked Home Office to release her and as we are sure they are not going to do that so he will ask for bail court.

We have to collect and prepare all the documents for Oral Hearing set on 21 July.

In the end, thanks for all who had planned to join us for tomorrow demonstration, there won’t be any at the moment.

Your sincerely
Bita & Mohsen

Stop Bita’s deportation today!

IKWRO just sent this in:

Bita Ghaedi is being deported to Iran on Wednesday where she is likely to be executed because she dared exercise her free speech. This is a clear cut case of human rights abuse and the UK government is too busy electioneering to care.

Here is more information on Bita’s case.

Join our protest on Wednesday at Heathrow. Details for the protest are here.

If you cannot make the protest, click on the above link for some immediate direct action you can take.

Also, here is another petition in her defence.

Here is an article on her case in the Guardian.

Save Bita Ghaedi from deportation tomorrow!

Bita Ghaedi is due to be deported on a booked flight this Tuesday 20th, at 7PM from Heathrow Flight BD 931 Terminal 3

Background (Preamble):

Bita Ghaedi of Whetstone, England is a refugee who has been on hunger strike for nearly two weeks because she is terrified of being tortured and killed if she is forced to return to Iran. She has been refused asylum by the British Government and told she would be deported within a fortnight.

The 34-year-old has endured beatings and mental torture at the hands of her family and could be hunted down and killed by her father, brother and uncle should she return.

Please sign/forward this petition to ensure she is NOT forcibly returned to a violent fascist regime which murders, tortures, rapes + imprisons its own people if they peacefully protest for their rights.

Sign the petition here.