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Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has granted special asylum rights to lesbian and gay Iranians. According to the ministry’s October 18 statement, the decision was motivated by Human Rights Watch’s forthcoming report on serious and systematic abuse of LGBT individuals in Iran. Minister Verdonk also decided to allow Iranian Christian asylum seekers to remain in the Netherlands until at least May 2007. We first reported on this issue in the May 2006 issue of Impact, at which time Human Rights Watch had successfully pressed for the temporary extension of the moratorium on expulsions of LGBT Iranian asylum seekers.

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