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Arts and Culture

Britain Refuses Lesbian Iranian Filmmaker’s Asylum Request

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Posted on May 13, 2010
Firouz
youtube.com

Lesbian filmmaker and activist Kiana Firouz in a still from “Cul de Sac.”

Iranian filmmaker, LGBTQ activist and actress Kiana Firouz is facing what could well be a not-so-warm welcome home now that the British government has reportedly rejected her request for asylum after Firouz was driven to flee her native country and seek safety in the UK.

Coilhouse has more on Firouz’s story and the petition to help her cause.  —KA

Coilhouse:

Kiana Firouz, 27 years old, is an outspoken Iranian LGBT rights activist, filmmaker, and actress. When clips of her video documentary work featuring the struggle and persecution of gays and lesbians in her country were acquired by Iranian intelligence, agents began to follow Firouz around Tehran, harassing and intimidating her. She fled for England where she could safely continue her work and studies.

She plays a starring role in Cul de Sac, a documentary film produced in the UK about the condition of lesbians in Iran, and based heavily on Firouz’s own life story. Directed by Ramin Goudarzi-Nejad and Mahshad Torkan, the movie will premiere in London in a few days. Since the trailer was posted on YouTube in December 2009, Cul de Sac has attracted global media attention, with thousands of views. Apparently, some of those views included members of Ahmadinejad’s puppet media in Iran.

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RenZo's avatar

By RenZo, May 17, 2010 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

Way to go Britain. Send her foreign lesbo ass back to execution in Ayatollah Land (where you mucked about for a century). No homophobia in the UK. Enough sarcasm.

Just a little more.

Remember the two nasty old homos, almost teenagers, wait… .they were teenagers, hanged to death in public for the crime of being HOMOS. As if they were the first two Persian boys to act like homos. The Persians almost invented it, yet now it is culturally taboo, more so than capital punishment. Killing people is good, loving them is wrong. And for loving people they will kill you. Way to go PERSIA.

Give Persia back to the homos. They were doing a better job.
==
One of the ONLY proud(patriotic proud, I mean, remember what Michelle Obama said) moments I ever had was when a dear friend, a homo, a Tatar, a Muscovite, who was tortured (mildly by US standards) for being in a gay public park in Moscow, was finally granted asylum in the US. I really thought the judge was a good person, and there was hope for US. But that was then and this is now.

Strange, but if Palin were president, we might start having to hang the homos like they do in IRAN where the Moslamicundamentalists hang homos too. So the more we aim towards what Palin calls “american” and “christian” values, the more like the Moslamicks we become. How very strange, must be some kind of proof that their god is our god, because clearly both gods want homos dead. Even though he made them. I mean US.

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By mike112769, May 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

DOUBLESTANDARDS/GLASSHOUSES “Almost all of the people who post here are extremely homophobic.  They will not comment on these issues.”

I see what you mean. Britain is willing to let this woman be persecuted and only 4 people comment on it. Makes me wonder how liberal these posters really are.

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UreKismet's avatar

By UreKismet, May 17, 2010 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

As the first commenter intimated, there is really insufficient information about the circumstances of her asylum refusal to judge whether the english have chosen to refuse Firouz’ application because of who she is or because she has been caught up in a general tightening up on refugee admission brought about by pressure from part of the englander community.
I tend to think it is the latter, if only because england like amerika, has generally welcomed ‘celebrity exiles’ from Iran, people they can use to say Iran needs to be invaded and have its oil stolen a la Iraq.
So maybe she has been refused because the ‘authorities’ didn’t know who she was and put her into the same basket as the tens of thousands of other humans fleeing oppression in the Middle East albeit most from countries friendly to USuk.
There is no doubt that in terms of sheer numbers the applications from ME refugees who have what most would consider to be reasonable grounds for getting official refugee status far exceeds the numbers of refugees which a significant segment of the englander community would tolerate be granted refugee status.
Of course quotas on refugees are a no no; the result is that people with absolute blinder cases of torture and oppression are regularly denied refugee status.
That situation isn’t going to change anytime soon, so maybe becoming a celebrity refugee is the only way to get through the gate.

From what I have seen any Iranian wanting to get celebrity refugee status has to be a passionate advocate of outside intervention in Iran’s political process, and that is no easy ask. 

I mean as much as you mat loathe the regime running your country, not all people are silly enough to believe a foreign invasion will make things better for them and their families.

There is one other alternative which if true the authorities would never fess up to.
We have seen in Iraq where the new regime is more sexist and homophobic than the old one, and Afghanistan where the new one is just as bad as the old one, so englanders may be concerned that having Firouz on the expats who hate Ahmadinejad media circuit, may alienate more Iranians than it encourages.
Now the englanders could never own to that because of their pretence that the hatred of Iran is actually a hatred of their oppressive society must be maintained at all costs.  Wouldn’t want the citizens realising we were just after the oil, now would we?

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By Marshall, May 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

So isn’t the real issue here the question of what Britain’s asylum policy is and
whether it should be changed?  Immigration policies are typically discretionary
and don’t just admit all who seek asylum.  Should she be admitted simply because
she’s a gay woman who chose to make a film?

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, May 15, 2010 at 11:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Almost all of the people who post here are extremely homophobic.  They will not comment on these issues.

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By mike112769, May 14, 2010 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Britain making her go home virtually guarantees her life in prison or execution.

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