By Thea Lim
Kiana Firouz is an LGBT activist and film director from Iran currently seeking asylum in the UK. In late 2009 the trailer for her film Cul de Sac created controversy. This is the NSFW trailer:
In a letter published on the blog LGBT Asylum News, Firouz writes:
I, Kiana Firouz, an Iranian Lesbian, born in 1983 in Tehran/Iran, have sought asylum in the U.K but my application was turned down by the Home Office, despite accepting the fact that I am a lesbian. I accordingly submitted my appeal which was dismissed incredibly by the adjudicator. According to my solicitor’s point of view there is a little chance to grant a permission to appeal against the adjudicator’s decision. It means that I will face with deportation soon.
Homosexuality in Iran is a sin and offence which is subject to harsh punishment. According to the Islamic law, repeatation of this offence will be punished by death. The punishment for lesbianism involving persons who are mature, of sound mind, and consenting, is 100 lashes. If the act is repeated three times and punishment is enforced each time, the death sentence will apply on the fourth occasion. (Articles 127, 129, 130 penal code) The ways of proving lesbianism in court are the same as for male homosexuality. (Article 128)
Meredith Yayanos from Coilhouse says Firouz will “most likely be sentenced to torture and death after being found guilty of the ‘unspeakable sin of homosexuality.’” In Iran, the punishment for homosexuality consists of up to 100 lashes, which can be applied up to three times. After the fourth violation, a woman can be convicted of “unrepentant homosexuality” and executed by hanging.
Firouz filed for a court appeal after receiving the judge’s decision, but it was swiftly overruled. She can appeal the decision, but as of now, Firouz is facing deportation. The international human rights organization the EveryOne Group is asking concerned British citizens to send an email to the British Home Office asking them to reconsider Firouz’s case (firstname.lastname@example.org). There is also an online petition circulating, which could help save Firouz from corporal punishment in her home country.