Mehdi Kazemi, the 19-year-old gay Iranian, will not be allowed to remain in the Netherlands, a Dutch judge ruled yesterday afternoon. He now faces deportation back to the UK and then his homeland where he could be executed for being gay.

The decision was made on that basis that, under EU law, one country cannot give asylum to someone who has already applied in another country, as Kazemi did in the UK.

His uncle, Saeed, was told the news by Kazemi’s lawyer, Borg Palm, on the telephone.

The court agreed that the IND, the Netherlands equivalent of the UK’s Border and Immigration Agency, can return him to the UK. No date has been set for the return – at least 48 hours notice has to be given to Kazemi, with date and time of deportation.

Saeed said that it was Kazemi’s intention to take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Mehdi Kazemi was studying in the United Kingdom on a student visa and applied for asylum in the UK following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy. It is thought that his former partner told the Iranian authorities about the relationship under torture.

When his asylum application was turned down Kazemi fled to Europe and after short stays in the Czech Republic and Germany, arrived in the Netherlands where he applied for asylum.

Told of the court decision, Michael Cashman, the president of the European Parliament’s Lesbian and Gay Intergroup, and one of the MEPs sponsoring an emergency debate in the European Parliament on Thursday, said he was urging the UK government not to deport Kazemi back to Iran.

“I call on the UK Government to do all they can to ensure that this man is not returned back to Iran and face certain death,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Cashman, a Labour (PSE) MEP for the West Midlands, co-signed a motion with party colleague Pasqualina Napolitano which will be considered Thursday by the European Parliament as a matter of urgency.

The European Parliament will be told that if the young man is returned to the UK, he will face possible deportation to Iran.

The resolution to be considered in Strasbourg highlights that European Union asylum law has to be applied by member states on an individual case basis and argues that persecution for sexual orientation should be an automatic ground to grant asylum.

It also calls on the EU institutions and Member States, under their European and international human rights obligations, to take action to avoid such situations as Kazemi’s occurring in the future.

“I believe that Mr. Kazemi faces certain persecution if he returns to Iran and his life would be imperilled,” said Mr. Cashman, who co-initiated the resolution on behalf of the Socialist Group in the Parliament.

“I am glad that case will allow the European Parliament to reaffirm its commitment to protecting fundamental human rights and I urge the UK authorities to take note of the recommendations of the motion.”

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