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Mar 07,2008
Gay Iranian requests asylum in Holland
by UPI

LONDON - A gay Iranian man who sought safety in England after his partner was executed in Iran may face the same punishment after being denied asylum, a report said.

Mehdi Kazemi, 19, who arrived in London in 2004 to study English, fears returning to Iran, after discovering that before his boyfriend was executed in April 2006, he named Kazemi as his partner while being interrogated by Iranian officials, the Independent reported Thursday.

Kazemi fled to Holland after being denied asylum in Britain in late 2007, the report said.

"If I return to Iran I will be arrested and executed like my former boyfriend," Kazemi said in a letter to the British government.

Kazemi's case has reportedly gained support from well-known gay rights organizations throughout Europe who favor his desire to live in Britain.

Kazemi is awaiting a ruling by a Dutch appeal court, which will decide whether he will be granted asylum in Holland or be forced back to Britain.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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