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Canada only hope of salvation for transgendered woman and husband

Milan (Italy) - EveryOne Group takes up the international appeal launched by the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees which concerns two serious and urgent humanitarian cases: Mahtab, a transgendered woman and her husband Saleh. Mahtab and Saleh are Iranian citizens who have been discriminated against and humiliated.

Though Iranian law does not formally condemn transsexuals, they are constantly persecuted by the authorities and Islamic society itself, as is evident from the number of transsexuals that have been killed by their own families and the repeated death threats Mahtab herself has received.

Unfortunately, the democratic world is often taken in by this apparent “tolerance” and so far the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has failed to respond to Mahtab and Saleh’s desperate appeal for humanitarian protection in order to escape a life of social exclusion, terror and violence. Organizations like IRQR or EveryOne Group, that concern themselves with the rights of homosexual persons and women in Iran, are very familiar with the dramatic reality of the situation, and how transgender women and their partners are constantly being persecuted.

The couple are living in Turkey at the present, a country that does not acknowledge persecuted Iranians the right of asylum. Unfortunately, Mahtab and Saleh are also in danger in Turkey due to the presence of many Islamic fundamentalists.

Their only hope of salvation is to move to Canada as soon as possible, where they will be assisted by IRQR lawyers in their application for asylum.

EveryOne Group is supporting IRQR’s campaign: a group sponsorship that will allow the two to live in Canada until the asylum process is completed (see: At the same time we are asking the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to reconsider its decision and recognise Mahtab and Saleh the rights they are entitled to due to their condition as persecuted citizens, as well as the risk of inhumane and degrading treatment - and possibly even death - they would be faced with if they were sent back to the Islamic Republic.

EveryOne Group is also asking the European Parliament, the European Commission and Council to do everything in their power to ensure the couple is granted asylum and prevent another humanitarian tragedy taking place: the victims being two innocent people whose only sin is that they belong to a socially-persecuted category of people.

November 5th, 2010

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By Roberto Malini

Co-founder, EveryOne Group, Italy


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