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Sep 12, 2007 News: Lesbian Refugee Released from UK Detention
By Sven Rabatky

(UK) - The Friends of Pegah Campaign from Sheffield has released informations that the ordeal of Pegah Emambakhsh has found an end so far. Pegah was granted bail and she is finally out of Yarls Wood Detention Centre and back with people who will love and care for her. The Court of Appeal has also agreed to hear her case. The group believes that the case will be listed within the next couple of weeks and a decision will be made within the next few months.

The letter, sent by the Everyone group to the fellow activists, stated:

"There are also other actions that we know are being taken on her behalf, by influential organizations at a high level in the UK. We really don't think that we would have got this far without the fantastic work you have put in supporting Pegah. She is truly grateful and gives her heartfelt thanks to you all - as do we. It is impossible to overstate the value of your support."

"This does not mean that Pegah is out of the woods but she is now in a much more hopeful position. As you will understand Pegah needs time to recover from the ordeal of the past few weeks. She also needs to get back in touch with the ordinary business of living her life in some peace and tranquility. We will keep you updated as events develop."

Veteran campaigner Michael Petrelis expressed his satisfaction with the successfull activist efforts to prevent a Lesbian refugee from being deported to Iran, but also warned that the case is not over and needs a close attention for any future developements:

"I am so pleased that Pegah Emambakhsh has experienced much good news recently, as you can see from the hopeful message from her support team in Sheffield, but she is still facing hassles from the British government and we cannot close the activist file for her."

"As many people around the world have worked ceaselessly and prayed for Pegah, enormous and special gratitude goes to the Pegah support team in Sheffield, the Italian Gay human rights organization GruppoEveryOne and the Lesbians and Gays in Japan, all of whom have truly amazed in organizing an international support network."

"Let us celebrate this nugget of positive news on the global LGBT advocacy front, and remember that efforts to strengthen international gay solidarity need you."

Other prominent activists, among them Simon Forbes and Roberto Malini, welcomed Pagah’s release and thanked all the supporters of Pegah for their help in achieving the successfull result.

Viktor Zimmermann of the Gay Homeland Foundation commented the good news with satisfaction but reminded the activists not to forget the overall desastrous situation of Gay refugees worldwide. He asked the community to keep in mind all those individuals who are silently deported every day without being noticed by the public and ever having a chance.

"We need a more sustainable, long-term approach to the refugee problem. We can’t solely rely upon the goodwill of governments, since this goodwill simply is not there. What we need is a solution which will save thousands instead of few, however thankfull we are for every one of them. Our community has the ressources to take care of our brothers and sisters, now we need the will."

In 2006, the Foundation has suggested the establishment of a self-administered LGBT settlement as a viable solution for the Gay refugee problem. The ongoing failure of governments to provide any adequate response to the worldwide persecution of Gay people urges the Gay community to pick up the responsibility for its members living in hostile environments.

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