Iran: Last-Minute Delay in Expulsion of Gay Iranian

The expulsion of a gay Iranian who has applied for asylum in Sweden was delayed a few hours on January 20, immediately before he was due to be placed on a flight back to Iran. However, the Aliens Appeals Board--the Swedish immigration authority--decided that the Iranian citizen is to be kept in police custody, to prevent any attempts to escape a possible future expulsion.

The delay was reportedly brought about by new evidence produced by Stig-Ake Petersson, Asylum Coordinator for the Swedish gay and lesbian group RFSL. According to Petersson, relatives of the asylum seeker have reported that the man's boyfriend in Iran has been executed on the grounds of their homosexual relationship. Further, Iranian authorities have reportedly undertaken reprisals against the asylum seeker's mother because her son has left the country.

The current case is just one among those of several gay Iranians who might face repatriation to Iran from Sweden. This case has been appealed to human-rights bodies of the Council of Europe. No information is available as to whether the Aliens Appeals Board intends to suspend deportation awaiting a judgement by those bodies, which might take several years.

According to Stig-Ake Petersson, the man faces certain death if repatriated to Iran.

EXTREMELY URGENT faxes/letters of protest may be directed to:

(IMPORTANT! Refer to case number UN 99/00445)
Aliens Appeals Board (Utlänningsnämnden) Box 45102
104 30 STOCKHOLM
Telefax: 46-8-30 15 39