A life or death decision

Mehdi Kazemi is a gay teenager from Iran. He sought sanctuary in Britain after his boyfriend was hanged for homosexuality. So why is Britain so determined to send him back to Tehran – to almost certain execution?By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor
Thursday, 6 March 2008
A gay teenager who sought sanctuary in Britain when his boyfriend was executed by the Iranian authorities now faces the same fate after losing his legal battle for asylum.
Mehdi Kazemi, 19, came to London to study English in 2004 but later discovered that his boyfriend had been arrested by the Iranian police, charged with sodomy and hanged.

In a telephone conversation with his father in Tehran, Mr Kazemi was told that before the execution in April 2006, his boyfriend had been questioned about sexual relations he had with other men and under interrogation had named Mr Kazemi as his partner.

Fearing for his own life if he returned to Iran, Mr Kazemi claimed asylum in Britain. But late in 2007 his case was refused. Terror-stricken at the prospect of deportation the young Iranian made a desperate attempt to evade deportation and fled Britain for Holland where he is now being detained amid a growing outcry from campaigners.

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