Last edited: April 21, 2005

Gay Iranian Kills Himself After UK Asylum Appeal Denied, April 20, 2005

By Peter Moore London Bureau

LONDON—A gay man who feared he would be executed if he were deported to his native Iran killed himself after the British government turned down his second appeal for asylum a coroner’s inquest was told on Tuesday.

Hussein Nasseri, 26, was terrified of being returned to Iran where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death.

An inquest this week into his death was told that Nasseri entered the UK in March 2000 and claimed asylum. He told authorities that he had been persecuted because of his sexuality and had been thrown in jail when it was discovered he was gay.

Nasseri managed to escape and made his way to England.

A friend testified at the inquest that Nasseri was in panic after learning that his asylum application had been denied.

“I saw him two weeks before he died. He was very upset. He said he wanted to kill himself. He said he had bought a gun to kill himself,” his friend, Nader Ashkani, also from Iran, testified.

On June 25, last year, just days after learning he would be deported Nasseri shot himself between the eyes with an airgun modified to fire .22 caliber bullets.

The plight of gay asylum seekers has been highlighted by LGBT rights group Outrage. The group has accused the Labor government of callousness.

Another case is that of a 25 year old Algerian who is also facing deportation. The man, identified by Outrage as Saad B, has lived in the UK since he was 15. He has a good job and a domestic partner.

He and his partner, Matthew Skelly, were planning to register with Britain’s domestic partner registry when it begins in December.

But, Saad’s asylum application has been rejected. All his appeals have been turned down – despite the fact that he has lived his entire adult life in the UK.

He is scheduled to be deported just weeks before the registry opens—but, if he were already registered, he would be considered a “spouse” and entitled to live in the UK.

“I fear for my safety and mental well-being if I am sent back to Algeria,” he said. Like Iran and most other Islamic states, Algeria practices Sharia law which calls for death for homosexuals.  

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