Because of his sexuality and the radical nature of his creative activities, he has endured government-led suppression together with physical and mental abuse from other sectors of society. All this has taken place in a Muslim country, where homosexuality remains an extremely taboo subject. This led one of Babi’s brothers to threaten to kill him because of the shame which he has brought on the family.
As a result of beatings and bullying over the years Babi has only eight teeth remaining and suffers from a number of mental health problems
Since arriving in Cardiff in December 2006, Babi has engaged fully with various parts of the local community and has made many friends in his new home. He is still producing poetry, is writing a book about his art/gay life experiences and is also working on a film addressing the rise of Muslim fundamentalism. This latter work, as well as many other aspects of his art, would of course be impossible in his country of origin.
For the first time in his life, Babi felt happy and safe in Cardiff. He felt able to openly express himself artistically, politically and with regard to his sexuality, without associated feelings of fear, shame and imminent repression.
Babi’s claim for asylum has recently been dismissed by the home office. If he is forced to return to Azerbaijan he faces an uncertain and unhappy future. He will undoubtedly face severe persecution, from the state, community and family.
What you can do to help Babi stay:
Use this model letter: http://noborderswales.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/babi-badalov-model-campaign-letter.doc to copy/amend or write your own letter to the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, asking her to allow Babi to stay safe in Cardiff.
Hand-written letters can be more effective, if you have the time. Remember to quote the Home Office ref. number: B1234623
Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP
Secretary of State for the Home Department
3rd Floor Peel Buildings
2 Marsham Street
-Fax: 020 8760 3132 (00 44 20 8760 3132 if you are faxing from outside UK)
-Sign the online petition here: http://www.petitiononline.com/badalov/petition.html
Please let us know of any faxes/e-mails/letters sent. e-mail us at:
Friends of Babi Badalov