In defence of the Iranian asylum seekers participating in a sit-in at the British parliament right now
- Posted by Maryam Namazie
- On March 28, 2006
- 5 Comments
People fleeing political Islam must be given asylum, full stop.
You may think that this statement is outrageous. Aren’t most of them ‘failed’, ‘illegals’, ‘scroungers’? Isn’t only a handful ‘genuine’?
No, they all are genuine. And for the very simple reason that medieval Islamic laws are antithetical to 21st century lives and values.
Let me explain. I say this not just because of outrages like sweet 16 Atefeh Rajabi, hung from a city square for ‘acts incompatible with chastity’ or Maryam Ayoobi, stoned to death for having sex outside of marriage, or Abdul Rahman, facing execution in Afghanistan for converting to Christianity… I say this not even because of the brutal attack and arrest of women at a March 8 rally in Tehran or the arrest of Tehran bus workers, including some of their wives and children, for demanding basic labour rights.
I say this for the everyday, more ‘subtle’ things – if you can call them that. For the teacher threatened in Afghanistan, for doctors being beaten in Iraq for treating female patients, for the students prevented from studying because they did not pass the Islamic ideological test in Iran, for the very fact that you cannot even give your child a non-Muslim name, for the limited rights to divorce, for the reason that you cannot hold your lover’s hands and walk down the street…
The law, government agencies, army, baseej and militias, just won’t let you be. They just won’t let you live your life even if you have no intention of being politically active. They dictate your dress, your sexual relationships, even the music you listen to.
And so we see that even though the British government is jubilant that the asylum numbers are at a 13 year low in the UK, Iranians, Iraqis, Afghans are still in the top ten ranking of asylum seekers coming here and seeking refuge. Because they have to keep on coming and it’s not for the incentives the UK government keeps deceptively insisting. Does having more shelters give women the incentive to be beaten or those with homes to become homeless?
They have no choice but to come, thanks in large part to this government’s own policies in the region. But also thanks to cultural relativism which deems that people deserve to live the way they are forced to. Peace is at hand then – but according to Afghan standards; and Iranian prisons are satisfactory then – for third world standards! It also has to do with the close relations between governments and mostly because if they did grant asylum, it would reflect most badly on them; after all Iraq is their swamp; Afghanistan is not fit to live in…
Saying that all those who do get here from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan deserve the right to asylum is not so farfetched. It is like saying all those who fled the racial apartheid of South Africa had a right to asylum; or all those who fled Nazi Germany had a right to asylum.
So too people fleeing political Islam have a right to asylum. Full stop.
To see pictures of the sit-in, click here.
To read more about the bogus UK asylum policy, click here.
To support the sit-in and the International Federation of Iranian Refugees’ campaign, click here.
Support Iranian asylum seekers’ sit-in
Three days sit-in in London in protest to the Home Office’s asylum laws
(27-29 March in front of parliament)
Thousands of asylum seekers who have fled the Islamic regime of Iran and have come to Britain are faced with appalling and inhumane conditions. Many have either been refused asylum and issued removal orders or are in the precarious situation of waiting. An illegal, unsafe and unprotected life has been imposed on many of them.
According to reports published by the Home Office, in 2005 alone more than 600 Iranian asylum seekers were deported back to the Islamic regime of Iran and many more are at risk of being deported in the future. Deporting Iranian asylum seekers to an Islamic dictatorship is taking place despite the fact that any opposition is violently crushed, dissidents suppressed, executions have increased, unfair trials are norms, freedom of speech and press is denied, and human rights are violated with impunity.
In recent months, several political activists have been executed; a number of young, teenaged gay boys have been hung publicly in Mashhad; hundreds of opponents in different cities and towns have been arrested and imprisoned and the Islamic government is intending to execute some of them. Also some labour activists have been arrested, tortured and imprisoned.
The flagrant violations of human rights by the Islamic Republic of Iran have concerned many human rights organisations and even some western governments! They have condemned state violence against the population at large. It is interesting to note that the British government is amongst those countries condemning the Islamic regime of Iran for violating human rights but the truth is that its condemnations are nothing more than politicking for its own political benefits not anything else!
The British government is not concerned that people in Iran are stoned to death, executed, imprisoned, tortured and faced with sexual apartheid. All it wants is to stop asylum seekers from coming here at any cost. The fact that people, who flee persecution, are directly or indirectly victims of British or western government’s policies, is not of any concern to them.
The current policy of the British government towards asylum seekers is totally arbitrary, irresponsible and inhumane Following our “life without fear” campaign and in protest against these inhuman policies, the International Federation of Iranian Refugees in the UK is organising a three day sit-in protest on Monday- Wednesday 27- 29 March in London in front of Parliament.
The International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) in the UK and the participants of this sit-in demand the following:
1- Iran under the Islamic Republic is not a safe country. No Iranian asylum seeker should be deported to Iran;
2- There should be an immediate stop to all detentions of Iranian asylum seekers. All those currently in detention in British prisons for the ‘crime’ of seeking asylum should be freed;
3- Given the present suppressive nature of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the British government must change its policy towards the asylum seekers and grant them refuge.
We urge all humanitarian organisations and individuals, trade unions, and all freedom lovers to support our campaign for “a life without fear” and our three day sit-in.
For more information, please contact Siamak Amjadi, the Secretary of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees, UK Branch.
Tel: 07946 75 25 34 or 07931 866 985
BM Box 1919
London WC1N 3XX