Pegah Emambakhsh, the Iranian lesbian asylum seeker who faced deportation from the UK back to her home country, has been released on bail.
The 40 year old Emambakhsh was freed from the Yarls Wood detention centre on Tuesday after the the Court of Appeal agreed to hear her case.
“This does not mean that Pegah is out of the woods but she is now in a much more hopeful position,” said a statement by the Friends of Pegah Campaign, adding that, “There are also other actions that we know are being taken on her behalf, by influential organisations at a high level in the UK.”
Emambakhsh sought asylum in the UK in 2005 after fleeing from Iran because she was in a same-sex relationship. Her claim was rejected by the Home Office’s Border and Immigration Agency; she was arrested in Sheffield on August 13 and was scheduled for deportation to Iran on August 27. If deported she could have faced arrest and even execution for being a lesbian.
An international outcry over her case, including an offer by Italy to give Emambakhsh asylum, and appeals to the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith followed and may have played a role in her release.
“As you will understand Pegah needs time to recover from the ordeal of the past few weeks. She also needs to get back in touch with the ordinary business of living her life in some peace and tranquillity,” said the statement from the Friends of Pegah Campaign.
Emambakhsh’s appeal is expected to be listed with the Court of Appeal within a few weeks and to be heard sometime in the next few months.