By Jonathan, Campaigns & Public Affairs team
The Liberal Democrats have just debated and passed a motion on LGBT asylum seekers facing deportation to countries. Earlier this year Lib Dem peers were at the forefront of protests against the deportation of gay Iranian asylum seeker, Mehdi Kazemi, and succeeded in keeping him in the UK.
Now DELGA, the Lib Dem LGBT committee, are running a campaign calling for a halt to all deportations of gay asylum seekers to countries like Iran and Nigeria where homosexuality is treated as a crime, punishable in some cases by the death penalty. The DELGA exhibition stand at the conference features a map of the world with all the countries where homosexuality is a crime coloured in black, with black lines coming down to the edges with details of the different penalties. There are so many black lines that it resembles a spider’s web.
The Refugee Council policy team helped provide briefing to DELGA and to Simon Hughes MP, the Lib Dems Party President and ardent campaigner for asylum rights, so that they could prepare for the debate.
Now that this has passed into official party policy, expect Lib Dem MPs and Peers to be raising this issue in Parliament with renewed vigour.