If you have a blog or post messages to lists and web site concerned with LGBT citizens everywhere and the violations of our human rights, please take some time in the next three days to do something and call attention to the plight of Pegah Emambakhsh, a lesbian from Iran who faces deportation from the UK, and certain danger if returned to the Islamic Republic.
Time is very much of the essence here, as this note makes clear: Pegah faces a flight back to Tehran in just three days:
Michael ... I have just heard that Pegah Emambakhsh is to be deported by the British Government on Thursday August 23 on the British Airways flight to Tehran (BA 6633) which departs from London Heathrow at 21:35.
It is 11pm in UK right now, so little chance of getting any further info today. But I will try to get an update Tuesday morning.
I've been asked by Iranians, gay and straight, human rights activists, and friends in San Francisco to get the word out about Pegah's case, especially on political blogs.
Feel free to cut and paste the text here, along with the photos, and share the words and images through your social and web networks.
This story appeared on August 17 in The Star UK:
AN IRANIAN lesbian who faces imprisonment and almost certain death because of her sexuality if sent home back home has been given an 11th hour reprieve [...]
Her supporters from Sheffield ASSIST - the Asylum Seeker Support Initiative - said they were relieved at the news, because for Pegah to be returned to Iran was "tantamount to a death sentence".
Ann Campbell, from ASSIST, said last night: "We are all either on a high or exhausted!
"The plane was taking off at 9.30pm last night and this only started on Monday so it's been a mad four days. Although all we have effectively done is buy some time - we don't know what will happen next - we now have time to get our forces together."
Pegah, who is suffering with mental health problems and suicidal thoughts as a result of the stress, has now been returned to Yarlswood detention centre in Bedford where she was taken after being arrested in Sheffield on Monday [...]
The 40-year-old Iranian - described by those who know her as "charming, incredibly kind, honest and intelligent" - sought asylum in the UK in 2005. She had escaped from her home country after her partner was arrested, tortured, and subsequently sentenced to death by stoning.
Her father was also arrested, interrogated and tortured for information on her whereabouts [...]
She said: "She endured an unhappy arranged marriage, she is filled with guilt about what has happened to her father, and she is not able to see her two sons [...]
A gay Iranian woman came within minutes of being put onto a non-stop flight to Tehran at Heathrow this evening as the UK Government’s Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) – part of the Home Office – went through the final process of deportation.
It was only the late intervention of the office of Sheffield Central Member of Parliament Richard Caborn – the Minister of Sport – that prevented the deportation today [...]
If returned to Iran, Ms. Emambakhsh faces certain imprisonment and possible execution by stoning. Her ‘crime’ – she was in a lesbian relationship [...]
“The BIA will be committing a serious miscarriage of justice and human rights violation if they insist on Ms Emambhaksh’s deportation,” the group pointed out [...]
And this message from longtime international gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was shared late Monday night
Just to let you all know that I have been working on this case, advising and assisting Pegah's support team on legal issues, campaign strategies, new solicitors, new evidence, expert witnesses, fresh claims and injunctions.
Everyone is doing their best. Protests will be helpful, but the legal side is the most crucial right now.
You have the power to spread the word and help save Pegah from deportation to Tehran and torture. Please do what you can to increase global awareness of Pegah and her need to remain in the UK.