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 UK: Iranian Kurdish Asylum seekers fear death if the Home Office send them back to Iran

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UK: Iranian Kurdish Asylum seekers fear death if the Home Office send them back to Iran  26.7.2007

July 26, 2007

UK, -- A Family of asylum seekers fear they will be tortured and killed if the Home Office goes through with its plan to send them back to Iran.

Sedigheh Ahmadi, aged 43, and her sons Ramin and Nima, aged 19 and 17 respectively, had travelled to the UK in October, after her husband Sirus died here.

He had fled his native country after catching the attention of the Iranian secret police, because he opposed the hard-line Islamic regime as a member of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran. He had been beaten and tortured.

Sirus died of cancer while in the UK in early 2006, and his family set up home in the Potteries after his death.

They have now been refused Home Office permission to remain living in Buccleuch Road, Normacot.

They are desperately hoping for a reprieve after relatives in Iran warned them their home has been raided, and say if they return home they are likely to be murdered.

Ramin said: "If we go back to Iran we will be tortured and killed. My uncle has told us the authorities invaded our home after we left. He says if we come back we will be killed. When my father was dying we flew to Bulgaria, and asked the British Embassy for permission to come to visit him in hospital, but we were refused.

"When we got back to Iran we were arrested. I was handcuffed and blindfolded and thrown into the back of a car.

"I was taken to a room which could have been a courtroom, and then I was put in prison."

He says he was regularly beaten during a month-long spell in prison, and that while most prisoners were allowed out into the fresh air between 8am and 7pm, he was confined to his cell and allowed only three 30-minute sessions outside a day.

He says he was threatened each night by fellow prisoners who all had knives.

He added: "They would put their knives on my neck and tell me 'you will not see tomorrow'.

"It was very frightening. They would set up a supposed fight between themselves, but instead of hitting one another would attack me."

Ramin was freed, and soon after, the three fled to the UK after being persecuted for Sirus's political views.

The Home Office has refused their application for asylum. It believes the family will be safe now that Sirus has died.

A judge told them at their immigration hearing: "The fact is the Iranian authorities only ever appeared interested in the appellant's father.

"I hold that there is no reason why the authorities would wish to single this family out on their return."

A Home Office spokesman added: "We do not comment on individual cases.

"If an application is refused, there is a right of appeal to the independent appellate authorities against that decision.

"We only return those who the asylum decision-making and independent appeals processes have found do not need international protection, and who can therefore return safely."

The family, who were placed in Normacot by the Home Office, are due to meet with officials next week to discuss their case.

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Iranian Kurdistan
** Iranian Kurdistan (Kurdish: Kurdistana Īranź or Kurdistana Rojhilat (Eastern Kurdistan) or Rojhilatź Kurdistan (East of Kurdistan)) is an unofficial name for the parts of Iran inhabited by Kurds and has borders with Iraq and Turkey. It includes the greater parts of West Azerbaijan province, Kurdistan Province, Kermanshah Province, and Ilam Province. Kurds form the majority of the population of this region with an estimated population of 4 million. The region is the eastern part of the greater cultural-geographical area called Kurdistan.
More about Iranian Kurdistan

The present leader of the organisation is Haji Ahmadi. According to the Washington Times, half the members of PEJAK are women, many of them still in their teens, and one of the female members of the leadership council is Gulistan Dugan, a psychology graduate from the University of Tehran. This is due primarily to the fact that PJAK is strongly supportive of women's rights. PJAK believes that women must have a strong role in government and must be on an equal level with men in leadership positions.

More about PEJAK- Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan

The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran in Kurdish (Hīzbī Dźmokiratī Kurdistanī Źran) is a Kurdish opposition group in Iranian Kurdistan which seeks the attainment of Kurdish national rights within a democratic federal republic of Iran.

The current General Secretary of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan is Mustafa Hijri
More about KDPI- Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran


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