Dear Home Secretary
Re: Kiana Firouz asylum application
I am writing to bring to your attention the pressing and deeply urgent case of Kiana Firouz, an Iranian actor, recently denied asylum in the UK and now facing imminent deportation to Iran. It is understood that she will suffer (almost inevitable) torture, threats to her life and even death if returned.
The current exposure of Ms. Firouz’s film as well as her ongoing human rights work could invite severe punishment upon her return. Recent press coverage of her film, which confirms her sexuality as well as heavily criticising the Iranian authorities have made it almost impossible for Ms. Firouz to conceal her sexuality upon return or to escape punishment under the Iranian regime.
As I am sure you are aware, homosexuality is considered a grave crime, punishable by lashings or even death in Iran, it is therefore absolutely imperative that the UK government does not overlook the urgency of this case. By refusing Ms. Firouz asylum; we risk associating ourselves with the definite persecution of an individual on the grounds of sexual orientation, something completely contrary to the tradition of British civil liberties.
In 2006 a homosexual student Mehdi Kazemi was granted asylum, following the execution of his partner in Iran, in addition Pegah Emambakhsh who faced death by stoning for being a lesbian, was also recently granted asylum on similar grounds. These cases provide persuasive precedent as to the nature and seriousness of the penalties paid by individuals in Iran and highlights the obligation the UK should provide to vulnerable people.
I implore you to reconsider the aforementioned application for asylum and urge you grant immediate protection to Ms. Firouz.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Jean Lambert MEP