An Iranian civil rights activist who is due to be deported from the UK tomorrow could face the death penalty and fears being murdered by her family in an “honour killing” if she is sent back to Iran, according to her British partner.
Bita Ghaedi, 34, fled Iran to the UK in 2005 to escape a forced marriage and in fear of her family discovering she had a secret lover. She has since spoken out against sharia law, forced marriage and human rights abuses in her homeland and has been filmed criticising the regime for TV channels widely available across the Middle East. She is currently in Yarl’s Wood detention centre awaiting deportation, which is scheduled for 7pm tomorrow following the failure of a fresh asylum claim.
Her partner, Mohsen Zadshir, from Barnet, a member of the Iranian opposition who gained political asylum in 1999, said that if deported, her life is “finished”.
Ghaedi has transgressed the strict traditional code under which Iranian women are supposed to adhere. Not only has she brought “shame” on her family by having a relationship with a man who was not her husband, but she has participated in the anti-government protests which have grown more vociferous after the disputed 2009 presidential election result. Each of these transgressions would be enough to put her life in danger if she is deported, according to Zadshir, a former Iranian politician who is now a British citizen.
Zadshir said: “Her life depends on a click on the internet… >>>