Gay Christian from Iran could face deportation

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Supporters of a gay Christian asylum seeker from Iran currently locked up in an immigration detention center in the UK are calling on the Home Office to set him free as soon as possible. Madhi is a gay Christian man who has twice been tortured in a Muslim country where homosexuality is punishable by death. The UK government has detained him in Colnbrook Immigration Removal Center, pending deportation to Germany on January 28. More than 25,000 people have signed a petition, started by the reverend of Madhi’s church, calling on home secretary Priti Patel to end Madhi’s detention and halt any efforts to deport him. Last year, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, defended the execution of gay people in the country and excused it with the moral principles of the Iranian society. “I first met Madhi and his partner through the church where I am a reverend,” the petition says. “It would be a massive loss to our community if he was forcibly deported. Madhi has been a consistent presence at our church, taking part in leading services and enjoying playing a full part in the life of our church community. This is one of the few places where Madhi feels safe.”

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