Iranian hunger strikers sew their lips together in protest at UK deportation

The Guardian – Four Iranians, including a 17-year-old boy, are on hunger strike and have sewn their lips together with fishing wire in protest at plans by the British government to send them back to Tehran.

The men, who are among six protesters to have not eaten for 16 days, say they were beaten, tortured and in one case raped after taking part in anti-regime protests that swept Iran in 2009. They claim that although their lives would be in danger in Iran they have been “ignored and dismissed” by UK authorities since they sought refuge in the country last year.

“We have sewn our mouths because there is no other way,” said Keyvan Bahari, 32, who has scars across his back and arms from what he said was 12 days of being slashed with razor blades by the Iranian authorities when he was a student. “Nobody in the UK hears us or cares what we say so we have no other option but to do this.”

Bahari, a former champion wrestler who ran his own training centre in Tehran, said the media and government in the UK and US had encouraged him and tens of thousands of other young people to stand up against the regime but had now “washed their hands” of the protesters.

“When I was back in Tehran, I was seeing Obama and British officials on our illegal satellite TVs, encouraging us day in day out to continue our protest,” said Bahari, who is one of three men camping on the pavement outside Lunar House immigration centre in Croydon. Speaking with difficulty through his sewn-up lips, which are already sore and infected, he said: “They said that they will support us but now that I’m stuck in here and need help, they are nowhere.”

The men say they are taking liquids, but doctors say that even so, they could deteriorate quickly, especially if they have pre-existing medical conditions.

Mahyar Meyari, 17, lying in the small tent next to Bahari, recalls how he was raped after being arrested following a demonstration on al-Quds day in 2009. “I was blindfolded and taken to an unknown place where I was kept for a week. I was kicked on the head by batons many times … and even raped,” he said before breaking down.

Mahyar paid a smuggler to get him out of the country but says he did not know where he was being taken before he arrived in the UK 16 days later. “I can’t explain how I feel here, I can’t believe what’s happening to me,” said Mahyar, who does not speak English. “When I claimed asylum with the Home Office, they first didn’t believe that I’m 17 years old, they said I was lying. There’s a culture of disbelief in the Home Office, everybody thinks you are lying by default.”

The men’s asylum claims were all turned down, although some are still involved in appeals. They say they feel let down by the legal system and the lawyers appointed by the Home Office to represent them.

“I’m very discontent about my legal representation,” said Bahari. “I saw my lawyer more as a Home Office officer than a lawyer there to protect my rights. He was more looking after the rights of the Home Office.”

A government spokesman said the UK Border Agency “takes every asylum application it receives seriously” adding the men were given “every opportunity to make their representations to us as well as a right to appeal the decision to the courts”.

He added: “They all had access to free legal advice as well as a designated UK Border Agency caseowner who considered their case on its individual merits.”

However, the men say they have had very little contact with the Home Office since they began their protest and campaigners – and fellow Iranian activists – say asylum seekers are fighting a culture of disbelief across the government.

“The people who are supposed to interview asylum seekers in the Home Office, they do not interview these people, they interrogate them,” said Akbar Karimian, an Iranian activist who has been helping the group. “They search for an error or a mistake in their testimonies so that they can find a contradictory evidence to reject their claim. You imagine that the officers in a refugee organisation of this government are there to help these vulnerable people, but they are there to find a way to send them back.”

Campaigners say the UK hunger strike is a sign of the increasing desperation among Iranian asylum seekers. One man died after setting himself alight in Amsterdam this month and 25 Iranians sewed their lips together in Greece in an attempt to secure refugee status. The Medical Foundation, which is preparing a report on Meyari’s condition for his next appeal, says 293 Iranians were referred to the organisation for help in 2010.

Lying in the tent, Mahyar said the UK hunger strikers, like many fellow Iranians, were prepared for drastic action. “I prefer to die here than going back to Iran. I’ll continue this protest until somebody comes here and asks me why I’m doing this, until somebodycares about what has happened to me.”


Child M and family lose final legal appeal – Act NOW!

From Permanent Revolution

The situation is now desperate. We may have only 72 hours to save the family and prevent their deportation to Iran .

Child M and his family have thousands of supporters. Their plight has received wide spread media coverage.

What next?

The legal process has ended. The Home Secretary and Immigration Minister can still halt their deportation and give the family the right to remain in the UK .

The only chance for this family now is that the Home Secretary and Immigration Minister agree to discuss the case with the family’s constituency MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman.

We ask all supporters of Child M and his family and those sympathetic to their case to do two things;

Urgently contact Damian Green and Teresa May and state that the family cannot be safely returned to Iran . They face certain imprisonment and worse.

Contact your own MP and Councilors and ask them to do the same and to cantact Sir Gerald Kaufman to offer their support.

It’s not over yet. Together we can still save this family. Please do all you can.

For updates:

Save the Life of LGBT Activist Kiana Firouz

Kiana-Firouz-Cul-de-Sac1‘Iranian lesbian activist Kiana Firouz is currently seeking asylum in the United Kingdom after a controversy over the upcoming release of Cul de Sac. The film, which stars Firouz and includes explicit lesbian sex scenes, is based heavily on Firouz’s life and struggles as a lesbian in Iran. Directors Ramin Goudarzi-Nejad and Mahshad Torkan posted the trailer on YouTube in December 2009 (below, NSFW) and since then, the Iranian government has attempted to deport Firouz back to Iran to be tried and punished for her crime of homosexuality. Firouz applied for refugee status in the UK, but was rejected.

If she is not granted asylum in the UK, she will be sent back to Iran, where the minimum punishment for homosexuality is 100 lashes. The punishment for “unrepentant” homosexuality, which Firouz’s LGBTQ activism clearly demonstrates, is public execution by hanging.

To sign a petition asking for asylum in the UK endorsed by Firouz herself, click here:

To see the trailer for Cul de Sac, click here:

Send a letter asking for amnesty for Firouz here:
Minister of State (Borders and Immigration) –
Home Office, 2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
Fax: +44 870 336 9034

Secretary of State for the Home Department –
Home Office, 2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
Fax: +44 20 7035 0900

A form letter can be found here:’

From: Save the Life of LGBT Activist Kiana Firouz campaign

Join the facebook group by clicking here.

Japan! Do not deport Jamal Saberi

From Persian2English Website

Jamal Saberi (full name, Jalal Ahmadzade-Nouei) is a political activist opposed to the current Islamic regime in Iran.  After refugee status was rejected for Saberi by the Japanese government, he was arrested, and now he faces deportation to Iran; a move that will no doubt lead to Saberi’s arrest by the Iranian regime.  In detention, Saberi will face torture and possibly death.

Jamal Saberi left Iran for Japan in 1990. In 1992 he joined the Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI) and began his political activities in Japan against the violation of human rights in Iran. As a member of WPI, an Iranian opposition party, Jamal wrote many articles against the Islamic Republic of Iran.  He also wrote articles that exposed Japan’s diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime. Several of his writings have appeared in the Japanese press as well as Iranian publications such as Hambastegi (organ of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees – IFIR) and Javanan-e Komonist (organ of Communist Youth Organization).

He applied for refugee status in Japan on May 28, 2002. His application was turned down by the Immigration Bureau of the Japanese Ministry of Justice on March 28, 2002. He appealed this decision in April of the same year. The appeal was rejected and the Japanese police issued an order for his arrest and deportation.

Jamal was arrested in late October 2003 and transported to the Immigration Bureau’s detention center, where he was kept for one year.  At the time of his arrest, Jamal had already become a popular human rights activist among the Left organizations, human rights organizations, and the trade unions. Consequently, his detention was protested by several organizations that eventually succeeded to stop the deportation order.

Albeit, the Japanese government did not grant Jamal refugee status, and the UNHCR did not make any efforts to assist Jamal Saberi.

Jamal Saberi’s lawyer has stated recently that his client is in danger of deportation to Iran.

Human rights activists around the world are working hard to ensure that Jamal Saberi does not get deported to Iran.  The International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) has urged all organizations  to take immediate action to save Jamal Saberi from deportation to Iran.  The IFIR demands from the Japanese government to release Jamal from jail, revoke his deportation order, and take appropriate measures to protect his life in Japan.

Send off your appeal online here via the following form and/or phone/fax your appeals at:

Japan ministry of justice
1-1-1, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 100-8977 the Red Brick Building (The Ministry of Justice)
Tel: 00813 3592-7911 or 0081-3-3580-4111
UNHCR IN Japan – Tokyo
4-14 Akasaka 8-chome, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 107,
Tel: 0081- 3-3499-2310
Fax: 0081-3-3499-2273

مبارزه با جمهوري اسلامي بيشك اشكال گوناگون و گه گاه پيچيده اي دارد۔ هم بايد در خيابانهاي تهران آنرا به مصاف طلبيد هم بايد براي بستن سفارتخانه ها(يا بهتر بگوييم ادارت جاسوسي ) آن در خارج كشور نبرد كنيم۔ هم بايد به چاوز در حمايتش از ايران اعتراض كنيم و هم به ژاپن بخاطر معامله كثيفش در تبادل اپوزيسيون با جمهوري اسلامي بخاطر منافع اقتصاديش۔

اين گروه در اعتراض به همين امر است۔ معامله كثيف پشت پرده دولت ژاپن با جمهوري اسلامي ۔ در اعتراض به ژاپن در تهديد به ديپورت جمال صابري يك مبارز خستگي ناپذير و شناخته شده عليه جمهوري اسلامي به ايران۔


جمال صابري يك فعال كارگري است كه حضور او در فيس بوك براي بسياري از شما آشناست۔ او چند روز پيش توسط پليس ژاپن بخاطر عدم پذيرش تقاضاي پناهندگيش دستگير و در معرض خطر اخراخ به ايران است۔

از جمله فعاليتهاي جمال٬ برپا كردن يك تظاهرات در مقابل سفارت جمهوري اسلامي در سپتامبر ٢٠٠٨ بود كه او بتنهايي و با بسيج فعالين كارگري ژاپن سازماندهي كرده بود۔

جمال مبارز خستگي ناپدير عليه جمهوري اسلامي است۔

لطفا نامه اتومات اعتراضي خود به ديپورت شدن جمال صابري از ژاپن را از طريق آدرس زير به وزارت دادگستري ژاپن و يو۔ ان در آن كشور ارسال كنيد

و اين خبر را وسيعا منتشر كيند۔

Do Not Deport Mehrshad Sadeghi to Iran!‏‏ He is 9 years old!

Child M is Mehrshad Sadeghi from Gorton, Manchester. He is a 9 Year Old boy.


Mehrshad is a happy and successful boy from a Manchester school. He has lived with his family in Manchester for the last two years. He has many friends.


Mehrshad and his family are seeking asylum. They face persecution and imprisonment in Iran. The family are in serious danger on their return to Iran, so they have lodged appeals to the UK Border Agency, The Court of Appeal and The High Court.


Child M and his family – Ahmed Sadeghi (brother) and Farah Ghaemi (mother) are booked on the BMI flight to Tehran – BD931 at 6.30 this evening.


We urge you not to let them on this flight – they are forcibly being removed from this country and are being deported illegally. They do not want to be returned to Iran. The adults in the family face serious danger and no one knows what will happen to Mehrshad. He cannot stop his deportation from this country.

You can.

Thousands of people across the United Kingdom have supported their right to stay here. Details of their case have been published in major newspapers today.


We have high profile supporters some of these include; Micheal Rosen

                                                                                                 Caroline Lucas MP

                                                                                                 English PEN

                                                                                                 Baroness Afshar

                                                                                                 Bill Greenshields NUT President


We will encourage all our supporters to boycott BMI flights in the future if you let this family board the flight.



Do not deport Sheida Jahanbin!

No Deportations to Iran!
No Deportations to Iran!

Sheida Jahanbin, a former member of the Freedom and Equality Seeking Students in Iran, is facing deportation from the Netherlands where she resides in exile. Sheida is twenty seven years old. She was a student of Architecture and Graphic Design at the Azad University of Tehran before she was forced to abandon her studies and flee Iran following her arrest for holding a left-wing meeting. Before she left Iran she had a promising career in journalism writing for Tose’e Newspaper, Azma Magazine and Fekre Rooz journal. If Sheida is deported, she will face arrest, prison, torture and even death.

We call on our supporters and friends to write to the Dutch consulate and send messages of solidarity to her solicitor supporting her case to be granted leave to stay permanently in the Netherlands. Her IND number is 0808-14-1310.

If you can get your union to send letters of support please send a copy via email to Hands Off the People of Iran:

Please send letters and messages of protest to:

R. Hijma
Postbus 14002, 3508 SB Utrecht, Netherlands
fax: 0031302331150
phone: 0031302333734

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
38 Hyde Park Gate
London SW7 5DP
United Kingdom
tel.: 0044 (0)20 7590 3200
fax: 0044 (0)20 7225 0947.

Save Sheida Jahanbin!

Sheida Jahanbin, a former member of the Freedom and Equality Seeking Students in Iran, is facing deportation from the Netherlands where she resides in exile. Sheida is twenty seven years old. She was a student of Architecture and Graphic Design at the Azad University of Tehran before she was forced to abandon her studies and flee Iran following her arrest for holding a left-wing meeting. If Sheida is deported, she will face arrest, prison, torture and even death.

We call on our supporters and friends to write to the Dutch consulate and contact where she is being held, calling for her to be granted the leave to stay permanently in the Netherlands. Her IND number is 0808-14-1310.

Please send letters and messages of protest to:

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
38 Hyde Park Gate
London SW7 5DP
United Kingdom
Tel: 02075903200


AZC Vught Reutsedijk
Tel: 0736021731