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Sep 08, 2007 News: Protests in Berlin to Save Iranian Lesbian From Deportation
By Peter Weeren

(Germany) - An Iranian lesbian seeking asylum in Germany is to be deported, according to a recent decision by German authorities. Homosexuality is punishable by death is Iran. A protest vigil organized by the German Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) and attended by about 50 people was held today outside the Ministry for the Interior and Sports. The Iranian woman had sought asylum in Germany because of the imminent danger of execution in Iran. Authorities did not believe her, and, according to the newspaper TAZ, she is now to be deported to Turkey. A possible reprieve may come from the Commission for Cases of Hardship, however any resulting finding would be a mere recommendation.

In speeches by members of numerous German political parties Germany’s deportation policy was portrayed as racist and homophobic. In order to be granted asylum, it is necessary to bring incontrovertible proof of “irreversible homosexuality” (!), which is realistically nearly impossible, according to the speakers. Further, speakers pointed out multiple indications of discrimination in the woman’s case based on her gender, immigrant and lesbian status. Speakers said that the requirement necessitating outing herself in order to prove her lesbian status is clearly dehumanizing and undignified.

Further, speakers criticized the absurd methods used by authorities to obtain proof of homosexuality; officials had telephones the mother of the woman in Iran to ask her if her daughter was indeed a lesbian, which the mother of course denied. Naturally, the negative reply from a parent was not at all surprising, considering that the penalty for homosexuality in Iran is death. Yet quixotically German authorities used the protective response from the woman’s mother as official reason for their decision to deport, claiming that clear proof of homosexuality was nonexistent.

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