MPs to halt deportations to Iran
11 April 2006, AMSTERDAM – A majority of MPs in parliament are expected to block plans by Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk to deport gay men and Christian converts from Iran.
11 April 2006
AMSTERDAM – A majority of MPs in parliament are expected to block plans by Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk to deport gay men and Christian converts from Iran.
Verdonk insists it is safe enough to send these groups back to the Islamic Republic. But MPs of the Christian Democrats (CDA) and Democrat D66, both government parties, have indicated they will join the opposition Labour Party (PvdA) in opposing the policy during a debate on Wednesday.
Even without D66, the CDA and PvdA command a majority in the 150-seat Dutch parliament. Verdonk is a member of the Liberals, the third government party.
The CDA, PvdA and D66 will ask Verdonk to carry out a new investigation into the situation for gay people and Christians in Iran. The minister should only reactive the deportations on the basis of a finding Iran is safe for them, the MPs say.
Verdonk said in a letter to parliament in March that there was no question of anyone being executed or sentenced to death in Iran purely on the basis of their being gay, although she did concede that gay sex was punishable by death under the Iranian interpretation of Islamic law.
Six months earlier, she suspended the deportations because two gay Iranian men were executed there, allegedly because they had robbed, kidnapped and raped a minor rather than on the basis of their sexuality.
Dutch gay rights organisation COC described Verdonk’s decision as "revolting" and based on incorrect information about the Iranian regime.
Verdonk says that asylum-seeking Iranian Christians who have converted from Islam, who also face strong societal disapproval, can also safely be sent back.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news