In my voice mail message for a spokesperson in the press office, I requested a formal comment, one that I could post to my blog, and the embassy official sent the following statement: > Dear Mr. Petrelis,
> Thank you for your voice mail message. Regarding the specific case of the asylum application of Mr. Saba Rawi: > Mr. Rawi is appealing his asylum case. Pending the final decision on his case, no further steps will be taken. It is not clear when this case will be decided upon.
> In general, the Netherlands Minister for Immigration and Integration is considering lifting the current ban on repatriating gay Iranian asylum seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected. She will make a decision after consulting the Dutch Parliament. It is not clear when Parliament will take up this issue. The Parliament is in recess until March 8.
> If you would like further information, please contact the following Ministry of Justice spokespersons:
> Martin Bruinsma, 011-31-70-370-6266 > Maud Bredero, 011-31-70370-6698
> Sincerely, Carla Bundy Press officer Royal Netherlands Embassy
Nice that the embassy responded so quickly to my concerns, right? I'd say so and I sincerely hope I'm one of dozens or possibly hundred of human rights advocates applying pressure on the Dutch to do the right thing and allow gay Iranians to stay in Holland and not be deported back to Iran.
Unfortunately, Doug Ireland now reports this awful news from Dutch sources:
> The most respected daily newspaper in the Netherlands, De Volkskrant, reports on its front page today that the Dutch Immigration Minister has sent a letter to parliament informing the legislators that the conservative Dutch government of right-wing Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenendehas decided to end the six-month freeze on deportation of gay Iranian refugees from the Islamic Republic of Iran's lethal anti-gay pogrom who live in the Netherlands.
> The revelation of this plan, which the government tried to keep under the radar screen, has already provoked a "big scandal" in parliament, one Dutch reporter informed me late this afternoon. For the details, click on this link.
With the Netherlands about to end the freeze on deporting gays facing death in Iran, it's more important than ever that U.S. gays and our allies contact the Dutch embassy over and over again, on behalf of gay asylum seekers.
If you haven't yet called or emailed the embassy yet, please do so, and, if you've already written the ambassador and his staff, contact them again. The lives of gay Iranians are in jeopardy.
Here's the info you need to contact the embassy:
The Royal Netherlands Embassy 4200 Linnean Avenue NW Washington, DC 20008
The phone number is 202-244-5300; the fax number is 202-362-3430.
The ambassador can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is where hypocrisy and racism come face to face. Holland, which is one of the most gay tolerant societies in Europe, would send people back to certain death.
When I told people that the Danish cartoons represented a very dark strain of intolerance, people didn't want to hear it. All they could do is lecture me on free speech.
Yet, the Dutch are willing to send a man back to a near certain cruel death. They usually like to torture, then whip the gays before they hang them in public in Iran.
So why do it?
Fear of Musilms . Right wing European governments pander to their racist elements by picking on Muslims. The same people who were talking about Muslim intolerance and how Western beliefs have to be upheld, were willfully blind to what lay behind it.
Well, here it is. The Dutch would condemn people to death because of a fear of Muslim immigration. After all, they fear an invasion of gay Iranians. Because Iran's war against gays is no secret, there is no justification for this. Even the Dutch are queasy about this.
Because they know it's dead fucking wrong.
Any time someone defends the right to disrespect someone else, there is usually an unpleasant surprise coming behind that.