At the risk of turning into the needy person from hell, can I please just ask everyone to have a look at this appeal by Peter Tatchell concerning an Iranian lesbian, Pegah Emambakhsh, due to be deported back to a regime which flogs, imprisons and not infrequently executes people for the crime of having consensual sex with other adults of the same gender. (If you have problems finding the relevant article on Tatchell’s site, click ‘International’).
This is all terribly late: she is due to be shunted on to the plane this Bank Holiday Monday. I became aware of the appeal only today. It means that letters are not going to get to the Home Office in time and writing to MPs is way too tortuous a process. Have a look at Tatchell’s site, grab some talking points from his ‘sample letters’ and send off a fax, fAO: Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, RE: Pegah Emambakhsh- Proposed Deportation. Quote Reference number ref. B1191057. The fax number is 0207 035 3262.
And can I just say that I don’t share Tatchell’s politics either (shorter: more wars so long as I don’t have to fight them). It doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t. The Iranian regime has got a lot nastier since Emambakhsh lost her last appeal against deportation in 2005, and is now following the approved Mugabe line in covering up for economic failure with public beatings and killings of selected hate groups, notably including homosexuals. In Iran, ‘repression of homosexuals’ means not ‘halfwits making poofter jokes’, not even ‘bosses firing gays’ but ‘imprisonment, flogging and occasional judicial murder’.
I was told recently that the Home Office is monitoring the blog campaign for asylum rights for Iraqi employees. Ladies and gents: hello. I hope you and your families are well. And really, putting this woman on a plane back to a place where there’s a good chance she could be jailed or flogged or hanged: It’s not necessary. It’s not acceptable. It’s not, to be blunt with you, entirely human.