Monday, 12 April 2010

Deportation of Nadia Arzane and Bashir Foris - Can you help?

Brighton Voices in Exile have emailed me to ask if people can take action to stop the deportation of Nadia Arzane and Bashir Foris, a married Iranian couple in their early 20s.

Nadia is an activist from Iran who supported the opposition party by making a stand against human right abuses. On a protest in July 2009, in the town of Bandar Abbas, she saw a person beaten to death by government agents. She handed out leaflets and CDs in her local area calling on people to vote against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A few days later, she returned home from work and witnessed her father being beaten and arrested because he would not hand over information about her. Her father spent two months in an Iranian prison where he was tortured. As a young Christian and human rights activist she has suffered prolonged persecution from the Iranian government and will be arrested and possibly executed if she is returned.

Nadia has shown immense courage and conviction in her Christian Faith and her belief in Human Rights. Her and her husband have been detained since their arrival in the UK and are currently being detained in Yarlswood Immigration Removal Centre.

Nadia and Bashir are under immense stress. Nadia's physical and mental health are a serious concern. Nadia she is terrified. She is 13 weeks pregnant and at the stage during which miscarriages are most common. She has not had a full psychological assessment as recommended by health professionals; She is showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is unable to eat or sleep. Without a full psychological assessment there is no way of knowing the full state of Nadia’s mental health, and how the stress of the imminent removal will affect the health of her unborn child. She is not receiving any treatment.

The home office have issued the couple with removal directions and a flight has been booked for them to return to Latvia on Wednesday 14th April, where it is likely they will be returned to Iran. Their solicitor has applied for an injunction to the High Court against their removal.

International organisations have reported that execution is common place in Iran for a range of crimes including acts of dissidence. Sexual violence by guards in women's prisons is widespread, as are other violent acts.

Human Rights Watch have publisised the case of Maryam Sabir, 21, who was arrested after attending a commemoration demonstration to mark the 40th day after the murder of Neda Solton- whose shooting dead during a demonstration shocked the world. Before she was released Sabir says she was raped four times by guards.

Mehdi Karroubi, Reformist Presidential Candidate stated that, "Some detained individuals stated that some authorities have raped detained women with such force that they have sustained injuries and tears to their reproductive system" (, 'Iran: Stop Covering up Sexual Asaults in Prisons').

Please call Sky Break (representatives of Air Baltic at Gatwick Airport) and Air Baltic to request that they do not except this vulnerable couple onto the flight. Contacting airlines is an effective ways of preventing deportation. The airline and its pilot make the final decision as to who flies on there planes, often pilots have refused to fly with deportees on board allowing time for further legal proceedings to be taken.

Flight number: BT652, 13:10 Wednesday 14th April, Gatwick Airport

Sky Breaks: Phone: 01293 555700. Address: Bath Road, Harmondsworth, West Drayton, UB7 0NA.
Air Baltic: Phones: +371 67006006, +370 700 55660, Monday- Friday: 07:00-22.00, Saturday- Sunday: 08:00-20:00

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