To Whom It May Concern
IRanian Queer Organization (IRQO) is an international, non-profit, queer human rights organization based in Toronto, Canada with key workers in Europe and Iran. IRQO helps Iranian gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered refugees all over the world. We help when Iranian lesbians or gay men who are threatened with deportation back to Iran. We also help Iranian LGBTs (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) obtain asylum in friendly countries.
Iranian who are homosexuals are a uniquely identified group who are severely looked down upon and subject to mistreatment and humiliation, including torture at the hands of the current Islamic Republic of Iran for their sexual orientation. Homophobia runs deep into the Iranian government policies and homosexuality is considered a criminal act, punishable by lashing, hanging, stoning, cutting in half by a sword, or other methods of torture.
However, IRQO believes in a brighter future and would not let the hatred stop us from achieving our hopes of becoming useful members of society.
Hassan Parhizkar is a homosexual Iranian national, currently in the USA and being threatened with being deported back to Iran by ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement]
IRQO is deeply concerned that Hassan Parhizkar would be subject to torture and would face the death penalty upon his deportation to Iran on account of his homosexuality. The U.S. Government's action in deporting Mr. Parhizkar to Iran is clearly prohibited by the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment, ratified by the United States in 1992, and by congressionally enacted policy giving effect to CAT. As the United States congress made clear, it is the policy of the United States not to:
Expel, extradite, or otherwise effect the involuntary return of any person to a country in which there are substantial grounds for believing the person would be in danger of being subjected to torture, regardless of whether the person is physically present in the United States.
The signataries of this letter do so in testimony and support of Hassan Parhizkar's request for relief from the U.S. government to stop his deportation to Iran and for acceptance of his deferred action request as witnesses for the tortures and persecution suffered by Iranian gay and lesbian nationals by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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