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In memory of Marjan Ahouraee: an Iranian transsexual refugee

(April 9, 2013) -- According to reports from UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) ranks third out of countries with the highest number of refugees fleeing to Turkey, only outnumbered by neighboring Syria and Iraq.  

Every year, thousands of refugees flee Iran to escape persecution on account of their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and political and social beliefs.  However, the life that awaits Iranian refugees across the border in Turkey, while their asylum claim is pending with UNHCR, is not without its difficulties.  Despite the efforts of the Turkish government to provide refugees with the services they need as they await resettlement in a third country, limited financial resources and a lack of access to medicine and adequate healthcare are all a routine part of an Iranian refugee's daily life in Turkey.   

In this IHRDC video, the challenges that one such Iranian refugee faced are described in detail.  Marjan Ahouraee--an Iranian transsexual refugee--died from complications from pneumonia on April 3, 2013 in Kayseri, Turkey.  Had she lived, she would soon have been resettled in Canada to begin her new life.  In the following short clip, Marjan's close friend, Sayeh, talks about Marjan's life and her inability to get the financial assistance and the resources she needed to treat her sickness in a timely fashion.  Sayeh also has one important message for everyone who has mourned Marjan after her death: there are other "Marjans" out there and they need your help.


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LGBT, Witness Testimony