Conservative MP Stephen Crabb, Chairman of the Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission, has criticised the Home Secretary for arguing that Iran is safe for "discreet" homosexuals:
"Most fair-minded people will be appalled at the Home Secretary’s statement. The Iranian regime has a dreadful track-record when it comes to the treatment of homosexuals and other minority groups and is more than willing to use torture and the death sentence to punish offenders.
Asking minorities to live their lives discreetly is to give in to the tyrants and bullies who sustain their positions through fear and coerced conformity. It demonstrates both an unelevated view of the importance of human rights and cowardice in championing our own system of values."
In this morning’s Independent the Home Secretary is quoted as saying that asylum seekers to the UK can be deported if they live discreet lives. The trouble is – if they don’t – they can be hanged, as in the photo on the right. An estimated 4,000 Iranians have been executed over the last twenty years.
The treatment of gay men in Iraq came to prominence earlier this year when Mehdi Kazemi was threatened with deportation to Tehran – even after his boyfriend had been executed. Conor Burns wrote about it at the time for CentreRight.com.
This Labour Government is often ‘tough’ when it shouldn’t be – as here – and ‘soft’ when it shouldn’t be – illegal immigration more generally. Without commenting on individual cases it would be good to see Dominic Grieve taking up this general issue.