We have just informed that Pegah Emambakhsh, an Iranian lesbian, has finally been granted refugee status in the UK after almost four years. This is fantastic news and a great reward for all the hard work you all Iranian queer supporters put in to ensure she was not sent back to Iran.
IRanian Queer Railroad is following Pegah's case since 2006. We remember a day that British authorities decided to deport her back to Iran and hundreds of people protested this inhuman action. Pegah supporters sent multitude of emails and faxes to British Home Office and their Members of Parliament to stop her deportation.
The widespread international campaign to save Pegah's life, which has involved governmental institutions, human rights organizations, GLBT activist groups, intellectuals, experts in international law and millions of people who have come to love Pegah, has succeeded in achieving a positive outcome.
"I could not believe it. I did not read any papers so far" Pegah said in a telephone conversation with IRQR today at 11:00 PM London time zone. She continued "Few hours ago I received a phone call from my lawyer that I granted refugee status. I will meet my lawyer tomorrow and I have to read that paper several time to make sure I am free from now. I hope all of people can achieve their dreams"
This has been a long struggle but is a real vindication of what can be achieved when we all work together.
IRQR express great thanks to Friends of Pegah Campaign and all Iranian queer allies for supporting us. We have many cases in England that their asylum application has been rejected several times and we are working on their cases. We have hope that the same will be done for other Iranian queer asylum seekers in the UK as soon as possible because being refugee is unbelievable difficult.
IRQR needs international support to help Iranian queers especially those who escaped of persecution.
For more information please visit IRQR website.