A PETITION has been launched to convince the Foreign Secretary to intervene in the case of an Iranian refugee who has been refused asylum.

Barnet resident Bita Ghaedi of High Road, Whetstone, is so scared about being returned to Iran that she has been on hunger strike for 23 days.

The petition, available on Go Petition asks: “We, the undersigned ask the UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband to personally intervene to ensure Bita Ghaedi is NOT forced to return to Iran, where it is certain she would be arrested and in physical danger under the current regime.”

So far 210 people have signed.

Ms Ghaedi says she came to Britain to escape a forced marriage and in fear of her family discovering she had a secret lover.

She is terrified she will be hunted down and killed by her family if she returns to her home country for having disgraced their honour.

In Iran women convicted of adultery can be sentenced to death by stoning.

Another worry is the Iranian regime which Ms Ghaedi has openly protested against in London, and she is living with a known member of the opposition who has been granted asylum in Britain because of his anti-government activities.

Sympathetic human rights organisations and individuals have contacted the Barnet Times Series with offers of help for Ms Ghaedi since reading her story on the Times Series website.

Sudanese human rights organisation Hiwaar (www.hiwaar.com) has started a campaign to keep her in this country.

She is also being supported by IKWRO, a charity which provides help to Iranian, Afghan, Kurdish and Arab women living in London, with particular expertise in “honour” and domestic violence.

Ms Ghaedi remains weak.

She has spent four days in hospital this week but is now back at home.

To sign the petition visit http://www.gopetition.co.uk/online/33778.html.