Execution fear of gay Iraqui

by Will Davies A gay Iraqui facing deportation from Britain fears he will be executed because of his sexuality. The Government has been slammed for planning to deport the man – who for reasons of safety must remain anonymous – to a countr

by Will Davies

A gay Iraqui facing deportation from Britain fears he will be executed because of his sexuality.

The Government has been slammed for planning to deport the man - who for reasons of safety must remain anonymous - to a country where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death.

Solicitors for the asylum seeker, who moved to Brent in 1999, have applied for a judicial review - granting him a temporary reprieve.


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Sarah Teather, MP for Brent East, said: "There are shocking stories of persecution and killings in Iraq, and it is grossly offensive to suggest that my constituent should attempt to live his life in secrecy and constant fear.

"This man's friends here in Brent are understandably terrified for his safety.

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"Immigration ministers must show some basic humanity. There can be no legal or moral justification for sending someone to a country where they will be killed."

Ms Teather added: "I have done all I can to persuade ministers that they should protect my constituent.

"The UK government must send a clear and unambiguous signal that they oppose the death penalty, by refusing to send this man to face execution."

The man arrived in the UK on November 23, 1999, claiming asylum, but the claim was not considered until June 2001 and as a result, it was refused and his appeal rights had exhausted by 2003.

He travelled to Northern Ireland and made a false claim asylum in 2005, but his true identity was discovered and he was refused asylum.

In February 2008 he was involved in a road accident and came to the attention of the UK Borders Agency (UKBA) and he was convicted of seeking leave to remain fraudulently in August 22 last year and sentenced to nine months behind bars.

Due for release on January 5, he has been transferred to the Haslar Immigration Removal Centre.

Peter Tatchell, a gay rights campaigner, said Islamist death squads are hunting down gay Iraqis and executing them.

He said: "The death squads of the Badr organisation and the Mahdi army are targeting gays and lesbians, according to UN reports, in a systematic campaign of sexual cleansing.

"They proudly boast of their success, claiming that they have already exterminated all 'perverts and sodomites' in many of the major cities."

w.davies@archant.co.uk

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