Thursday, April 13, 2006

Netherlands suspends deportation of asylum seekers to Iran

The Dutch authorities have suspended deportation of rejected homosexual and Christian asylum seekers to Iran after the government yielded to pressure from parliament, De Volkskrant newspaper reported Thursday. READ MORE

The cabinet will base its decision on whether to proceed with the deportation of these groups of asylum seekers to Iran on new analyses of the human rights situation in that country, said the paper.

This was the unexpected outcome of the debate in parliament on Wednesday.

Minister of Immigration and Integration Policy Rita Verdonk had decided at the end of February that the situation in Iran was safe enough to proceed with the deportation of Iranian homosexuals who had exhausted the asylum procedure in the Netherlands.

Verdonk suspended the deportation following reports that the execution of two teenage boys in Iran was due to their sexual inclination.

Verdonk had previously also refused to suspend the deportation of rejected Christian asylum seekers.