Saturday, January 23, 2010

Queer Refugee Being Expelled from Norway

I recently received the following request from the IRanian Queer Railroad, and have emailed the letter as suggested by the IRQR. The letter follows the statement:

Asghar Hedayati is 40 years-old Iranian gay man who has been seeking asylum in Norway since 2003. He is one of IRQR refugee cases who has not lucky so far, but he is still fighting for his rights.

"I was waiting for good news, everyday for the last seven years," he says. "I was optimistic that I can start a normal life here in Norway. Unfortunately, it did not happen for me, I lost my hope, energy, happiness, and future when I got negative answers from Norwegian authority.

"There is no light for my future now but I never ever give up," Asghar says in a letter to Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees - IRQR.

Asghar was in love with his boyfriend, Mr. J [for security reason we can not publish his name] and they were so happy but their happiness until Asghar's family forced him to get married.

It was really difficult time for Asghar and "J" as they could not 'come out' for their families and Asghar did not have any reason to convince his family that he did not want to get married. Finally, he was forced to get married.

"I did not love her, I did not like her, and she was not the right person at all," he says. "We lived together but we were together just at kitchen table. I could not stop thinking about [Mr. J] for a moment."

After all the difficulties, he left Iran for Denmark and sought refugee status on basis of his sexual orientation. Unfortunately, his asylum application was refused by the Danish government and he was scared to death because he did not want to be deported back to Iran.

So he fled Denmark, going to Norway where he applied for asylum. At that time, he did not imagine that one day he will be in the same situation again. He has now received a letter from the Norwegian government that he has to leave by January 25, 2010 and he does not know what will happen in next day.

He has been told by the Norwegian authorities he can go back to Iran and "nothing will happen for you if you do not come out".

"How it can be possible? Can they recommend it to Norwegians as well to just shut up and do not ask your basic rights?" Asghar said.

His life is now in danger and the Norwegian government has to grant his asylum because there a lot of evidence that Iranian gays in Iran are threatened because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. There is no doubt his life will be in danger.

Asghar Hedayati is in an unjust situation and needs your urgent action. Please show your support by writing to the Norwegian government to urge them to grant refugee status to Asghar Hedayati. You may copy and paste the sample letters (below) into an email and send it to the provide emails below or you may write your own letter in support of Asghar Hedayati. Please CC IRQR: for tracking purposes. Thank you for your support.

The following is the letter as sent:

To: Minister of Justice and Police, Mr. Knut Storberget,

Immigration Appeals Board of Norway,


Subject: Norway threatens to deport Asghar Hedayati to Iran - Please stop his deportation

Dear Minister,

I am contacting you to request your assistance on a very urgent case involving Asghar Hedayati, a gay Iranian, who is currently in Norway. I received some information about him through the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, based in Toronto, Canada.

Asghar Hedayati is a citizen of Iran with case number DUF 2003 046 114 08. He escaped Iran in 2003 because of his well-known fear of persecution on the basis of his sexual orientation. He applied for asylum in August 2003, but the Norwegian Government unfortunately denied his asylum status for several times and he is now at risk for deportation.

His asylum judge said that he can live in Iran if does not 'come out', which is against fundamental human rights. I would like to express my deep concern about his situation, as he will experience imprisonment, torture, and even execution upon his forced return to Iran.

I am urging you to reconsider this case under the spirit of respect for human rights, and I am requesting that you grant Iranian queer refugees the full state of asylum in Norway because there a lot of evidence that Iranian queers in Iran are threatened due to their sexual orientation and gender identity.


Michael Kruse

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Re: MP's Please Show up for Work

I Received this reply from Jack Layton about prorogation:

Thank you for your previous message about Stephen Harper`s decision to
close down Parliament. New Democrats also share the outrage and
disappointment that you and many other Canadians have expressed about
this suspension of Parliament.

I have called on Prime Minister Harper to re-convene Parliament on
January 25. If he agrees, our Party will accept the re-instatement of
all pending legislation before prorogation - a common practice used in
past Parliaments. That said, we would continue to vote for or against
these Bills, based on whether they are good for Canada and Canadians.

I have also been clear that the work of the NDP caucus will not stop as
a result of Mr. Harper`s decision. We are going ahead with our January
18 winter strategy meeting and New Democrat MPs will be:

- participating in the January 23 protest rallies organized by citizens
across Canada
- returning to Ottawa on January 25 to hold our regular Caucus meeting
- working on parliamentary reform proposals including measures to ensure
that prorogation cannot be misused again
- holding the government's feet to the fire on the economy, climate
change, the war in Afghanistan, retirement security, and consumer

Parliament has vital work to do. Canadians can't prorogue their credit
card bills, their pension shortfalls, their unemployment, or their
worries about the future. We think MPs should be working on these issues
and representing the priorities of their constituents and communities in
the annual pre-budget work.

Again, I appreciate your desire to stand up for democracy. Feel free to
pass along my message to anyone who may be interested. All the best.


Jack Layton, MP (Toronto-Danforth)
Leader, Canada's New Democrats

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Leaders of the Opposition: Please Show Up for Work on Jan 25th 2010

I sent this letter out to Mr. Layton and the other leaders of the opposition today, please help and follow suit!! This text is from Colin Le Fevre :

Mr. Layton

I am writing you because I want to see my elected Members of Parliament return to work on January 25th. Just because Stephen Harper has decided that he and his party do not want to do their jobs does not mean that the opposition parties need to follow suit. Although I understand that no official business can take place without the government attending there is much that can be done between the three parties who actually control a majority stake in the House of Commons.

I want to see the opposition stand up to Mr. Harper and show up for work. If you cannot use the House of Commons, find another location. Debate and work can be done in any location. Show Canada that there is not just work to be done, but that the parliamentary agenda can indeed be moved forward without Stephen Harper and his Conservative party.

I want the opposition parties to show Canada that Harper’s decision was undemocratic and for no other reason than partisan interests. You can do this through showing up for work as scheduled on January 25th, continuing to work on legislation, and continuing the debates that are necessary for the democratic process.

Stand up for democracy in Canada – show up for work and continue the legislative process… with or without the government.


Michael Kruse