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Mar 3, 2006

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The Dutch government has decided to end the six-month freeze on deportation of gay Iranian refugees from the Islamic Republic of Iran. This means that Saba Rawi, a gay Iranian man currently seeking refuge in the Netherlands is in imminent danger of being deported to Iran where the hardline government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will likely arrest, imprison, and perhaps even execute him. Please take five minutes to phone, fax, e-mail, or write immediately on Saba’s behalf and ask that deportation proceedings against him be halted immediately and that he be granted permanent asylum by the Dutch government. Send your comments to H.E. Boudewijn J. van Eenennaam, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, at The Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008. The phone number is 202-244-5300; the fax number is 202-362-3430. The ambassador can be reached via e-mail at This is Saba Rawi's story as told by The Gay City News in An Urgent Appeal for Simple Humanity: Saba Rawi is a 30-year-old gay Iranian now facing imminent deportation back to the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Netherlands. Saba, who lived in the northern Iranian city of Rashd, was arrested for kissing his boyfriend on the street—the boyfriend was able to flee arrest. Saba was tortured by the police and raped by a police officer, who, using the threat of a prison term, blackmailed Saba into signing a letter saying he was not harmed by the police and that his rape was at the hands of others. Saba signed the letter under this horrific pressure—and then managed to flee Iran. Saba eventually arrived in The Netherlands. That was some four and a half years ago. Since then, Saba has been serving as the Dutch representative of the Persian Gay and Liberation Organization, the largest Iranian gay group. After the worldwide protests against the hanging of two gay Iranian teenagers in Mashad last July, The Netherlands was one of several countries to have temporarily suspended deportations of gay Iranians who had not been granted asylum. But that Dutch suspension has now ended, and Saba—who inexplicably had his request for asylum refused, and his deportation ordered—now will find himself in a Dutch court once again, on March 8, to present his final appeal against deportation back into Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s fiery furnace for gay Iranians. If the Dutch government sends Saba back to Iran, he will face arrest, prison, and perhaps even execution, a fate that has befallen so many other victims of Iran’s lethal anti-gay pogrom.
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Posted: Friday March 3, 2006, 10:35 pm
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