UPDATE: Kiana Firouz Granted Asylum In the UK
On June 18th, after two rounds of rejection by UK authorities, Kiana Firouz’s application for asylum was finally granted.
This reversal of earlier rulings comes on the heels of an international campaign to support Firouz’s asylum application. Thank you to everyone who sent letters to UK Home Secretary Theresa May on Kiana’s behalf. After living with the threat of deportation to Iran, where her life would be in danger, Firouz is finally secure in her status as a refugee in the UK and free to continue her activist work.
The UK Home Office recently rejected the asylum appeal of lesbian filmmaker and actress Kiana Firouz—a move that could lead to her deportation to Iran, where she faces a minimum sentence of 100 lashes or even the death penalty for “unrepentant” homosexuality.
The UK ruling has put the life of the 27-year-old in serious danger. Firouz starred in the film Cul de Sac, which is loosely based on her life. In it, she portrays the struggle of lesbians under the Iranian regime. The movie, which premiered in London on May 20, could cause serious problems for Firouz in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal.
The UK Times Online reports that the Home Office, in defending the rejection of Firouz’s appeal, acknowledged the danger she would face as a lesbian in Iran but argued that Firouz could escape harm by being discreet about her homosexuality.
Given the public nature of Firouz’s activism, however, there is little chance that she could fly under the radar in her home country.
You can help Kiana Firouz fight this ruling by urging the Home Office to reverse its decision. Send a letter to the Home Secretary Theresa May in support of Firouz’s case for asylum, and help Kiana Firouz remain in the UK.