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Aug 28, 2007 News: Japanese Gays Protest for Pegah at British Embassy in Tokyo
By Yukiko Hosomi

(Japan) - On August 27, a petition with 207 signatures calling for the British Government to grant asylum to Pegah Emambakhsh was delivered to the British Embassy in Tokyo, by a group of Japanese supporters. They also handed in a petition to the Foreign Ministry to ask the Japanese government to take action on this case. A visible appeal was made outside the British Embassy and Foreign Ministry by the group of supporters holding message boards. Following the visit to the British Embassy, in a conversation the next day, it was confirmed to the group that the petition we submitted had been faxed to the Foreign Office in the UK. It was also confirmed that it would be brought to the attention of the British Ambassador in Japan.

A spokesperson in the Foreign Ministry informed the group that the petition was passed on to the British Embassy along with a request for further details of the case. The signatures were collected using the internet through a Japanese blog created for the campaign. Although it was very short notice, more than 200 people responded in 12 hours. A number of Japanese people have signed the online petition and sent faxes to the Home Secretary in the UK. News of the campaign was also reported in the independent Japanese press and in a number of personal blogs. Support continues to grow in Japan where many people feel passionate about this issue of human rights.

Contributed by Yukiko Hosomi

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