March 04, 2006


The leading Dutch daily newspaper, De Volkskrant, reports today there is a huge "commotion"Iran_noose_11 in the Tweede Kamer -- the Dutch parliament -- over the decision of the conservative government of Prime Minister Jan Balkenende to resume deportation of gay Iranians (see yesterday's DIRELAND post, "Dutch to End Freeze on Deporting Gay Iranians."

Lousewies_van_der_laan Lousewies van der Laan (left). the parliamentary leader of the left-of-center Democrats 66 party -- a member of the right-led government coalition --  told De Volkskrant that is clear from reports of human Rita_verdonk_1 rights organizations that Iran "is simply unsafe for gays," and called the decision by Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk (right) to end the temporary freeze on deportation of gay Iranians "completely crazy, naive, and irresponsible."

Devries of the PvdA (the Dutch Labor Party) also called the government decision "crazy" -- "how can you deport to a country where they persecute people because of homosexuality?" he asked. Karimi of the Greens, who comes from Iran, called Immigration Minister Verdonk's plan "unbelievable," adding, "Everyone knows that the situation for homosexuals in Iran is life-threatening. The Socialist Party and the Christian Union are also against the plan, De Volkskrant reported.

De Volkskrant also spoke with Saba Rawi, a gay Iranian who fled to Iran after being arrested for kissing his boyfriend in the street, and who was raped by police. Saba told the Dutch daily he "fears the worst" if he is sent back to Iran (see the editorial I wrote in this week's issue of New York's Gay City News, "Stop the Deportation of Saba Rawi.") Saba is the Dutch representative of the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization. De Volkskrant quotes him as saying that some 10 gay Iranians have asked for asylum in the Netherlands because of their sexual orientation, and also reports that, according to COC -- the leading Dutch gay rights organization -- one gay Iranian refugee awaits certain execution if he is returned to Iran because he has already been condemned to death.

Now more than ever, it is important that you take five minutes to phone, fax, e-mail, or write immediately to the Dutch Ambassador in Washington to protest ending the freeze on deportation of gay Iranians from the Netherlands, an action which threatens them with being sent back into the hands of Ahmadinejad's torturers and executioners. Contact:

H.E. Boudewijn J. van Eenennaam, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, The Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008. The phone number is 202-244-5300; the fax number is 202-362-3430. The ambassador can be reached via e-mail at webmaster@netherlands-embassy.org.

FOR BRITISH READERS, contact:  H.E. Count Jan d’Ansembourg, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, The Royal Netherlands Embassy, 38 Hyde Park Gate, London, SW7 5DP.  Telephone: 0207 590 3200.  Fax: 0207 225 0947. Email: london@netherlands-embassy.org.uk

For background on the new wave of anti-gay repression in Iran, see my previous articles: July 21, 2005 -- Iran Executes Two Gay Teenagers (Updated); August 11 -- Iran Sources Question Rape Charges in Teen Executions; August 12 -- Two New Gay Executions Scheduled in Iran, Says Iranian Exile Group; August 17 -- Iran's Deadly Anti-Gay Crackdown: With Two More Executions Scheduled, the Pace of Repression Steps Up.August 25 -- Iran's Anti-Gay Purge Grows: Reports of New Executions. September 8 -- Iran and the Death of Gay Activism. September 20 -- "They'll Kill Me" -- A Gay Iranian Torture Victim Speaks of His Ordeal ; September 29 -- Iranian Gays Urgently Appeal for Help ; October 6 -- Canada Introduces UN Resolution Condemning Iran's Human Rights Record; November 24, "Save Us"-- A Gay Iranian Who Married His Partner Begs for Help from the West ; January 12, 2006 -- "Kidnapped: Another Gay Iranian Torture Victim Speaks".....January 27, 2006 -- "A Call to Solidarity: U.S. Gay Groups Must End Their Isolationism; February 8, 2006 -- "An Iranian Trans Torture Victim Speaks from Inside Iran." Also, don't miss Rob Anderson's excellent article in the November 10, 2005 New Republic, "How America's Gay Rights Establishment is Failing Gay Iranians."

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