Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senator
476 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Clinton:
A potentially devastating tragedy can be averted with your intervention. Mehdi Kazemi, 19, of Iran is facing capital punishment. His crime? Kazemi is a homosexual.
Kazemi had been living in London since 2005 where he was studying English. Soon after his arrival in the United Kingdom, he learned that his boyfriend had been tortured and executed in Iran for sodomy. During interrogation, his lover revealed Kazemiís name to Iranian authorities. Because homosexuality is a capital offense in Iran, Kazemi fears he will meet a similar fate to that of his partner should he return to his homeland.
Despite the fact that more than 4,000 homosexuals have been killed in Iran since 1979, British officials determined that Iran does not have a systematic policy of murdering homosexuals. Kazemiís petition for asylum in Britain was therefore denied.
Fearing deportation, Kazemi fled to the Netherlands, where his bid for asylum was also rejected owing to the European Unionís 2003 Dublin Regulation which states that the member country where an asylum seeker first enters the European Union is responsible to process that asyleeís claim. Kazemi is slated to be deported from the Netherlands back to Britain, where he will meet certain death should Britain send him back to Iran.
The United States of America must not remain silent in the face of this travesty. For over two centuries, this country has embraced refugees fleeing persecution. I urge you to take up this humanitarian cause and arrange for Mr. Kazemi to be offered asylum in the United States.
Member of Assembly, New York State