The British right has, over the past decade or so, made such a stink about immigration in this country that any sense of fairness, humanity or competence seems to have been drained out of the system. I have friends who work with the Home Office and declare the place is falling apart. The extent to which any sense of “fair play”, which people claim is a strong British trait, has been chucked out of the window is demonstrated in the case of Pegah Emambakhsh.
This 40 year old woman is due to be deported back to Iran where she will almost certainly be prosecuted and executed for being a lesbian and engaging in “adultery” (a common practice in the Islamic Republic). Our government cannot legally deport people who are likely to be tortured when they arrive back in their country of origin, thankfully, but it seems deporting homosexuals despite the threat of execution is ok. Brett on Harry’s Place highlighted this case last week.
Now it seems even the Italians are willing to do more than our Home Secretary.
The case of Pegah Emambakhsh, 40, has become front-page news in Italy while going almost unreported in Britain. Today, a leading member of the rightwing opposition, led by Silvio Berlusconi, joined a government minister in proposing Ms Emambakhsh should be given asylum in Italy if Britain insisted that she had to leave.
Ms Emambakhsh fled Iran and applied for asylum in Britain two years ago. After her disappearance, her father had been seized and tortured to force him to disclose her whereabouts.
The spokesman for Everyone said that, under Iranian law, the punishment for lesbianism was 100 strokes of the cane, administered in public. But he said that Ms Emambakhsh, who had been declared “an enemy of public order” on websites close to the Iranian authorities, risked death by stoning or hanging.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Civil liberties,Middle East