This gay Iranian guy may well have Armenian origin, as his surname suggests (Bagherian)...
UPDATE (26 November 2008):
Great news: Cyprus grants resident status to gay Iranian asylum seeker Abbas Bagherian (via PinkNews)
MEPs have welcomed the decision of Cyprus interior minister to grant resident status to an gay Iranian asylum seeker.
Labour's Michael Cashman, Lib Dem Baroness Ludford, Tory John Bowis and Greens Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas were among 13 MEPs who put their name to a parliamentary question to the European Commission on the issue.
They wanted to know if the refusal of asylum to Abbas Bagherian by Cyprus on the grounds of sexual orientation was a breach of EU directives.
After Cypriot MEP Panayiotis Demetriou raised the case in discussions with the interior minister, Mr Bagherian was granted residency.
"I strongly welcome the decision to allow Mr Bagherian to remain in Cyprus," said Baroness Ludford, Liberal Democrat justice and human rights spokeswoman and an MEP for London.
"A rejection of his application and his return to Iran would have left him vulnerable to imprisonment, torture and in the worst case the death penalty, simply for being gay.
"I hope that we are starting to see a general move in EU countries to recognise the validity of asylum claims based on the risk of persecution due to sexual orientation.
"There should be a consistent EU policy, because such fears may be absolutely justified regarding a country like Iran."
Urgent need for action
*via Gays Without Borders
Mr Abbas Bagherian Noveiri, citizen of Iran, came to Cyprus and applied for asylum in June 2004 and for the last three years he has been living with his Cypriot partner. Mr Bagherian had an initial interview at the Asylum Service in July 2005. At the interview, He was not able to reveal that the genuine cause of his persecution in Iran was his sexual orientation, because he was afraid that this information would have been leaked to the Iranian authorities and in case of a rejection of his application for international protection, he would face, upon his forced return to Iran, imprisonment, torture, even death sentence.
Mr. Abbas Bagherian informed the Asylum Service of the above and in April 2007 he had another interview at the Asylum Service. During his interview, Mr Bagherian informed the Asylum Service that he was a homosexual and that he was arrested and detained at the age of 15 by the authorities of Iran because of his homosexual relations. In addition, Mr Bagherian informed the Asylum Service that he had been arrested four or five times by the authorities of Iran, during which he had been detained and beaten up.
Mr Bagherian also informed the Asylum Service that he was afraid that in case he returned to Iran, the Iranian regime would arrest, torture and execute him. Despite this, on April 2007 the Asylum Service decided to again reject his application for asylum.
In May 2007, Mr Bagherian filed an appeal at the Refugee Reviewing Authority against the decision of the Asylum Service. In October 2008 the Refugee Reviewing Authority rejected his appeal.
At present, Mr Bagherian is considered to reside in Cyprus “illegally”. As a result, he was arrested and now held in detention with detention and deportation orders issued by the Migration Officer and could be either detained indefinitely (according to national law) or deported to Iran any time.
Unfortunately, in Cyprus there are no judicatory procedures for the examination of the substance of the decisions of the Refugee Reviewing Authority. If Mr Bagherian files an appeal at the Supreme Court of Cyprus against the decision of the Refugee Reviewing Authority, the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to examine only the procedures used by the Refugee Reviewing Authority for the examination of his application for asylum.
In light of the above, we believe that both the Asylum Service and the Refugee Reviewing Authority have unjustifiably rejected Mr Bagherian’s application for asylum.
Moreover, we believe that Mr Bagherian’s case raises serious concern about the fairness and effectiveness of the asylum procedures in Cyprus.
With this letter we urge you to send a letter to the Minister of Interior and to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (see below their contact details) expressing your solidarity to Mr Bagherian and requesting his immediate release.
Director of KISA
- - - - - Form Letter - - - - -
7 November 2008
To: Minister of Interior, Mr Neoklis Sylikiotis,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Marcos Kyprianou
Subject: Iranian homosexual threatened with deportation to Iran
Mr Abbas Bagherian Noveiri, citizen of Iran, came to Cyprus and applied for asylum in June 2004 and in July 2005 had an initial interview at the Asylum Service. At the first place, because of his fear, he didn’t draw the attention to the Asylum Service about his homosexuality but in April 2007, informed the Asylum Service that he was a homosexual and that he was arrested and detained at the age of 15 by the authorities of Iran because of his homosexual relations. The authorities also arrested and detained him four or five times beaten him cruelly. Despite this, on April 2007 the Asylum Service decided to again reject his application for asylum. In May 2007, he filed an appeal at the Refugee Reviewing Authority against the decision of the Asylum Service. In October 2008 the Refugee Reviewing Authority rejected his appeal. As a result, he was arrested and now held in detention with detention and deportation orders issued by the Migration Officer and could be either detained indefinitely (according to national law) or deported to Iran any time.
Dear Minister, we’re urging you to re-examine this case under the spirit of the respect of human rights and we’re asking you his immediate release and to grand this person the fully state of asylum.
- - - - - End of Form Letter - - - - -
Minister of Interior
Mr Neoklis Sylikiotis
Dimostheni Severi ave
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr Marcos Kyprianou
Presidential Palace ave,
*See also IRQR