War of words over Iranian deportee

10th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 August 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Immigration and Integration service (IND) and the gay federation COC Nederland have traded angry words about the case of a gay man said to face the death penalty if deported back to Iran.

11 August 2005

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Immigration and Integration service (IND) and the gay federation COC Nederland have traded angry words about the case of a gay man said to face the death penalty if deported back to Iran.

Rejected asylum seeker Korosh Pashaei Majdi, 27, was about to be deported two weeks ago from the Netherlands.

He has already been condemned to death in Iran for being gay but managed to flee abroad, the Dutch gay organisation COC said on Wednesday.

COC chairman Frank van Dalen said the IND refused to incorporate this information into the man's immigration file. Instead the immigration service decided there was only a possibility the asylum seeker might be prosecuted in Iran.

A lawyer for Pashaei Majdi has insisted that deporting a person who has been sentenced to death is contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights.

COC says the IND continually refused to take account of a document smuggled out of Iran that states Pashaei Majdi, who was then underage, and his friend had been sentenced to death in Iran. Pashaei Majdi managed to leave the country but his friend was executed in 1997.

The document is difficult to read in parts but it seems to say another defendant had been sentenced to 100 lashes.

Pashaei Majdi is currently being held at the deportation centre at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

A spokesperson for the IND described Van Dalen's accusations as "total rubbish" and said the information was included in the appeals phase of the man's second asylum application.  A judge ruled that there was no new evidence to be considered.

"It is shocking that Van Dalen judged the IND so easily without knowing the facts,"  the IND spokesperson said.

The IND decided to temporarily hold off from deporting Pashaei Majdi after Iran executed two young men, aged 16 to 18, for being gay. Photographs of the executions caused an outcry around the world.

Meanwhile, about 70 people gathered in het Plein in The Hague on Wednesday to protest at what they claim is Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk's "heartless" asylum policy. The protest was instigated by the decision by five failed asylum seekers from Iran to go on hunger strike.

The demonstrators handed Klaas de Vries, immigration spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, a petition in relation to the hunger strikers' demands.

A spokesperson for the group said the IND did not adhere to its own rules and he said the Parliament was not exercising proper control of the asylum process.

The IND insisted on Thursday that the decision-making was meticulous in the cases of two of the Iranian hunger strikers who demanded to see their immigration files.

In a letter sent to the pair's lawyer, the IND emphasised that a court had rejected the appeal against the decision to expel them and the judge ruled that the men had been given a fair opportunity to tell their stories.

One of the men had confirmed this while giving evidence, the IND said.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

0 Comments To This Article