Terence Bunch

Photojournalist & Writer

A Home Office worker walks with his hands in his pockets into the entrance of the building. In the UK there is no sitting Parliament and no operating Government. As a result, there is no political oversight in play leaving British courts heavily unsupported when determining the political impact of deportations of highly relevant activists to regions which are politically unstable during the aftermath of the so called War on Terror. Home Office, London. 19th April 2010. All pictures © Terence Bunch.

Save Bita Ghaedi from Deportation to Iran, Home Office. London. 19th April 2010.

By Published Last Edited 2010-04-19 00:00:00

The day before her deportation takes place, supporters of Bita Ghaedi gather in London to object to her forced removal to Iran. Bita is an Iranian woman who has been living in the UK and campaigning against chronic human rights abuses committed in Iran during recent Pro-Democracy protests.

On 15th April, Bita was forcibly removed from her home by UK Border Agency staff and police and was taken to Yarls Wood Detention Centre to await her removal. Bita fled domestic violence in her native Iran and left her country and an abusive marriage in 2007.

She has been peacefully campaigning alongside the PMOI (Peoples Mujahedin Organisation of Iran) in London most notably against the severe human rights abuses committed by proxy agents of Iran operating in Iraq around the Iranian enclave at Camp Ashraf.

In 2009, eleven people were killed by Iraqi security forces after they attacked the camp. The campaign against almost 3000 PMOI at the camp continues. To date, members of the PMOI continue to be attacked and hunted down by the Mollah regime of Iran and a number have been executed and sentenced to long periods of imprisonment. The protest takes place outside the British Home Office in London.

Bita remains at severe risk not only from the Iranian religious regime, but from male members of her estranged family.

As the day wears on campaigners hear that a British court has refused a fresh claim for asylum stating they are not convinced that her life is in danger, thereby confirming that Government guidance on matters of politics in the Middle East is indeed, hopelessly inadaquate.

Home Office. London. 19th April 2010.

The campaigners gather outside the Home Office in London with images of Bita taken while campaigning outside Downing Street and the Foreign and Commonwealth office during the forced attack on Camp Ashraf in 2009.

The campaigners gather outside the Home Office in London with images of Bita taken while campaigning outside Downing Street and the Foreign and Commonwealth office during the forced attack on Camp Ashraf in 2009.

A large banner is held up by British activists who have assembled to support Bita. At present, a large online campaign has been launched to bear witness to the case of Bita Ghaedi as part of a campaign to halt her deportation but also to be referenced after her deportation takes place and she is removed to Iran. The campaign is supported by groups in the UK as-well as Washington in the United States, itself now under severe pressure to de-proscribe the group from its terror lists, In Iran the PMOI remains a proscribed terrorist organisation.

A large banner is held up by British activists who have assembled to support Bita. At present, a large online campaign has been launched to bear witness to the case of Bita Ghaedi as part of a campaign to halt her deportation but also to be referenced after her deportation takes place and she is removed to Iran. The campaign is supported by groups in the UK as-well as Washington in the United States, itself now under severe pressure to de-proscribe the group from its terror lists, In Iran the PMOI remains a proscribed terrorist organisation.

A male supporter reaches out to pick up a pen to sign the petition which is to be handed into Downing Street. A placard in front illustrates that he does not want to be a partner in crime to her refoulement.

A male supporter reaches out to pick up a pen to sign the petition which is to be handed into Downing Street. A placard in front illustrates that he does not want to be a partner in crime to her refoulement.

Bitas partner Mohsen holds up the text of an Amnesty International report published in March 2010. The report highlights sudden increases in public executions carried out by the Iranian judiciary during widespread protests against the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the office of President of Iran. The report sets out the lengths the Iranian regime is prepared to go to to conflate ordinary law and order with special measures against pro-democracy protesters, a number of which have been executed in the last month.

Bitas partner Mohsen holds up the text of an Amnesty International report published in March 2010. The report highlights sudden increases in public executions carried out by the Iranian judiciary during widespread protests against the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the office of President of Iran. The report sets out the lengths the Iranian regime is prepared to go to to conflate ordinary law and order with special measures against pro-democracy protesters, a number of which have been executed in the last month.

Bitas supporters remain, many of them having conducted hunger strikes in London in 2009 in sympathy with the residents of Camp Ashraf in Northern Iraq during the attacks on the enclave. Here, a former hunger striker holds up a placard to Save Bita.

Bitas supporters remain, many of them having conducted hunger strikes in London in 2009 in sympathy with the residents of Camp Ashraf in Northern Iraq during the attacks on the enclave. Here, a former hunger striker holds up a placard to Save Bita.

Other campaigners hold up placards comparing the case of Bita Ghaedi with the cases of scores of political activists in Iran that have succumbed to the regime for demonstrating for democracy. For the Iranian regime, the protests were identified as the work of the PMOI and NCRI (National Council for the Resistence of Iran). Those suspected of membership of either organistation are assumed to be Mujahedin and are arrested, imprisoned or executed under the guise of domestic law and order.

Other campaigners hold up placards comparing the case of Bita Ghaedi with the cases of scores of political activists in Iran that have succumbed to the regime for demonstrating for democracy. For the Iranian regime, the protests were identified as the work of the PMOI and NCRI (National Council for the Resistence of Iran). Those suspected of membership of either organistation are assumed to be Mujahedin and are arrested, imprisoned or executed under the guise of domestic law and order.

A British campaigner and supporter signs a petition to help prevent the deportation of Bita.

A British campaigner and supporter signs a petition to help prevent the deportation of Bita.

In this image taken by a UK News Agency photographer late in 2009, Bita is shown in front of a hang-mans noose. In 2009, 388 people were executed in Iran, a figure which accelerated in the later part of the year as protests took place claiming that Iranian elections had been falsified by the incumbent President and agents. At the moment, Iranian security service personnel continue to expend large scale resources in an attempt to find the ringleaders of the recent protests, many PMOI members, or suspected members remain high priority targets.

In this image taken by a UK News Agency photographer late in 2009, Bita is shown in front of a hang-mans noose. In 2009, 388 people were executed in Iran, a figure which accelerated in the later part of the year as protests took place claiming that Iranian elections had been falsified by the incumbent President and agents. At the moment, Iranian security service personnel continue to expend large scale resources in an attempt to find the ringleaders of the recent protests, many PMOI members, or suspected members remain high priority targets.