[…]

Kiana Firouz is an Iranian lesbian activist, filmmaker and actress who has been living in the UK since the Iranian Intelligence Service caught wind of her documentary work on the plight of homosexuals in Iran. They began following her and, fearing for her safety, she fled to the UK and applied for asylum.

In Iran, lesbianism is punishable by 100 lashes, and should a woman be found guilty four times, she will be sentenced to execution by hanging for ‘unrepentent homosexuality’. Firouz’s appearance in Cul de Sac (above), a film based on her own life and featuring lesbian sex scenes, combined with her outspoken activism, means she is highly unlikely to escape this fate should she be deported. Despite all this, the Home Office have actually refused her application for asylum.

The Everyone Group is spearheading a campaign to keep Firouz in the UK:

The EveryOne activists invite concerned readers to send protest e-mail messages to the British Home Office (public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk) requesting that Kiana receive refugee status as soon as possible, for she is a symbol of the international fight against homophobia and repression of gays and lesbians in Islamic countries.

You can also show your support by signing this petition and writing to:

Minister of State (Borders and Immigration)

Home Office, 2 Marsham Street

London SW1P 4DF

or

Secretary of State for the Home Department

Home Office, 2 Marsham Street

London SW1P 4DF.

And next time you see or hear someone complaining about how our UK government supposedly bends over backwards to welcome “bogus” asylum seekers, ask them whether they really want the death of innocent women like Kiana Firouz on their conscience. Because while our government may voice its homophobia through the appointment of an anti-gay Equalities Minister, the Iranian government voices its prejudice through the whip and the noose. No decent human being should tolerate either.

Read more at Coilhouse.

For other ways to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, please see the IDAHO website.