Ali and Mohammad – Asylum from Iran to Canada

Posted on February 20, 2010. Filed under: Stories - from other sites |

Ali, 32, and Mohammad, 25

Iranian gay couple granted asylum in Canada – A gay couple who fled Iran in 2005 to escape arrest and a possible death sentence for homosexuality have been given asylum in Canada.
The men, Ali, 32, and Mohammad, 25, arrived in Toronto Wednesday night. Their family names are being withheld to protect family members still in Iran.
The Islamic state routinely rounds up gays. A number have been placed on trial and sentenced to death according to international human rights groups although the government officially has said the executions were for other offences.
In 2005 Ali and Mohammad fled Iran for India where they sought and obtained help from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to relocate in Canada the Toronto Sun reported Thursday.
UNHCR made an “urgent and high priority” plea for their resettlement at the Canadian embassy in New Delhi, Arsham Parsi, of Iranian Queer Railroad, told The Sun.
The organization is modeled after the Underground Railroad that helped slaves from the US South escape to Canada in the mid 19th Century. Iranian Queer Road says it has helped more than 60 gay Iranian refugees resettle in Canada, the U.S. and Australia.
“There are many more Iranian queer refugees who are still being processed,” Parsi told The Sun.
Ali and Mohammad were staying with friends in Toronto on Thursday.
“It took them three years to get here,” said Parsi. “Canada is a gay-friendly country and they will be successful here.”

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