Iranian Christian deportees get reprieve

9th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — Christians and gay people from Iran have something new in common. Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has temporarily suspended plans to deport asylum seekers from either group back to the Islamic republic.

9 March 2006

AMSTERDAM — Christians and gay people from Iran have something new in common. Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has temporarily suspended plans to deport asylum seekers from either group back to the Islamic republic.

Under pressure from parliament in The Hague, Verdonk backtracked on her earlier decision to deport Iranian Christians who have been denied asylum in the Netherlands. She said at the time there was absolutely no reason not to deport them.

The Minister told parliament on Thursday she hoped the delay in the deportations would be temporary. MPs want to debate the latest foreign ministry assessment of the situation in Iran before the rejected asylum seekers, including people who converted from Islam to Christianity, are sent back.

Verdonk indicated earlier this month she was ready to resume sending rejected Iranian asylum seekers who are gay back to Iran. Days later, she agreed to wait until parliament debated the issue.

The deportations were originally put on ice six months ago after two gay men were executed in Iran.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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