Stop the Deportation of Kiana Firouz

Iranian lesbian activist Kiana Firouz is currently seeking asylum in the United Kingdom after a controversy over the upcoming release of Cul de Sac. The film, which stars Firouz and includes explicit lesbian sex scenes, is based heavily on Firouz's life and struggles as a lesbian in Iran. Directors Ramin Goudarzi-Nejad and Mahshad Torkan posted the trailer on YouTube in December 2009 (below, NSFW) and since then, the Iranian government has attempted to deport Firouz back to Iran to be tried and punished for her crime of homosexuality. Firouz applied for refugee status in the UK, but was rejected.

If she is not granted asylum in the UK, she will be sent back to Iran, where the minimum punishment for homosexuality is 100 lashes. The punishment for "unrepentant" homosexuality, which Firouz's LGBTQ activism clearly demonstrates, is public execution by hanging.

There is a petition online right now that Firouz has endorsed called "Stop Deporting Kiana Firouz, The Iranian Lesbain [sic]". Emails can be sent to the British Home Office at [email protected], but our friends over at Coilhouse blog are still trying to confirm if that email address is working, and is trying to get in personal contact with Firouz. International human rights organization EveryOne published a campaign letter on May 6 addressed to Antonio Guterre (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, among others; letters can be sent to

Minister of State (Borders and Immigration) -
Home Office, 2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
Fax: +44 870 336 9034

Secretary of State for the Home Department -
Home Office, 2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
Fax: +44 20 7035 0900

Kiana's eponymous character in the film also attempts to seek asylum in the UK; we'll see how the fictional account turns out when the film premieres in London on May 20. Here's Firouz's appeal, from LGBT Asylum News:

I, Kiana Firouz, an Iranian Lesbian, born in 1983 in Tehran/Iran, have sought asylum in the U.K but my application was turned down by the Home Office, despite accepting the fact that I am a lesbian. I accordingly submitted my appeal which was dismissed incredibly by the adjudicator. According to my solicitor's point of view there is a little chance to grant a permission to appeal against the adjudicator's decision. It means that I will face with deportation soon.

Homosexuality in Iran is a sin and offence which is subject to harsh punishment. According to the Islamic law, repeatation of this offence will be punished by death. The punishment for lesbianism involving persons who are mature, of sound mind, and consenting, is 100 lashes. If the act is repeated three times and punishment is enforced each time, the death sentence will apply on the fourth occasion. (Articles 127, 129, 130 penal code) The ways of proving lesbianism in court are the same as for male homosexuality. (Article 128)

I have recently played a role in a feature film called "Cul de Sac" which is mainly based on my real life story. The movie is scheduled to be screened in May 2010. The trailer of the movie had been published on You Tube since December 2009.It was watched by more than ten thousand viewers just in the first four days.

The film' news was covered by the international Medias world wide specifically by the opposition those are under severe surveillance of the Iranian authority.

The movie contains sexual scenes which itself would be subject to death punishment if I return to Iran.

Now, the only hope remains for me is LGBT's support.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Comments

7 comments have been made. Post a comment.

What an incredibly brave

What an incredibly brave woman to continue to speak out and be herself under threat of death.
It horrifies me that the UK is trying to send her back to Iran where she may be hanged in public.
I will certainly send letters and e-mails. I wonder though, whether there's a petition out there that spells "lesbian" correctly? The whole "lesbain" thing can't be great for credibility.

What Are People Doing Now?

Could some one please tell me what basis the UK used to reject her appeal as a refugee? And how else are people organizing to protect her?

This is the same question I

This is the same question I have: what were the grounds of the appeal dismissal? With UK visa appeals, the appellant needs to list why the original judgement was wrong (under the rules).

Grounds of appeal dismissal

I've heard accounts that Firouz's appeal was dismissed on "baseless" grounds, but I haven't been able to find any documentation that quotes the actual dismissal. It may become more accessible as this case gains media attention, so check back - we'll post an update once we can find it.

Thanks. I too was only able

Thanks. I too was only able to find the "baseless" reason but when an Immigration judge in the UK either allows or dismisses an appeal it needs to list under what grounds.

When a visa is initially rejected (at the time of application) there is a rejection letter that gives the reason (e.g. overstayed previous visa, did not provide original bank statements, did X wrong) and an appeal is based on the grounds that this finding is wrong and how it is wrong. So, if a visa is rejected on grounds like those I gave in an example, it's impossible to then fight it based on different grounds (like amnesty). Under UK law an applicant would need to return to their home country and then file a new visa application (e.g. an asylum application). I feel for her given my own UK visa quagmire but if her case won't provide any information about the rejection of the appeal other than for saying it's baseless, I then wonder if the rules were actually followed.

I would suggest that people not sign a petition until we know the whole story because once we do we can give the BEST support we can. A petition based on incorrect assumptions will not help her case any.

She can remain!

Thanks for this.

I've published the history on our involvement here, 'How Kiana Firouz became the World's Most Famous lesbian asylum seeker' http://madikazemi.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-kiana-firouz-became-worlds-mo...

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