Lesbian granted refugee status....
This is good news....
A lesbian who fled Iran after her girlfriend was arrested and sentenced to death in Tehran has won her battle to be granted asylum in Britain.
Supporters of Pegah Emambakhsh, 41, who claimed she would be executed if she was deported back to her homeland, welcomed the Government's change of heart last night after their hard-fought, four-year campaign.
Ms Emambakhsh came to the UK in 2005 fearing for her life, but last year she lost a court battle to stay in this country. Following a high-profile campaign involving gay rights groups, MPs and The Independent, the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, agreed to reconsider her case.
Yesterday, Lesley Boulton, of the Friends of Pegah campaign group, said: "We have just heard that Pegah has finally been granted refugee status in the UK. This is fantastic, wonderful news and a great reward for all the hard work put in to ensure she was not sent back to Iran – so thank you, thank you, thank you. This has been a long struggle but it is a real vindication of what can be achieved when we all work together."
The case is the second victory by a gay Iranian seeking sanctuary in the UK. In May last year, Mehdi Kazemi, a 20-year-old student, was granted asylum after his supporters said he also faced the death penalty if sent home. Mr Kazemi came to London to study in 2005 but in April 2006 discovered that his partner had been arrested in Iran and had named Mr Kazemi as his boyfriend before being executed.