Air France flight attendants want to boycott the airline's new route to Iran, where it's illegal to be gay and where homosexuality is punishable by death.
In a petition started by one of the company's employees has gained over 3,000 signatures and is asking for the company to allow gay cabin crew to refuse to fly to Tehran, the capital of Iran.
The petition is addressed to the Air France CEO Frederic Gagey as well as the French Ministry of Transport . Entitled 'Gay stewards from Air France don't want to fly to the death penalty in Iran', its author Laurent M has written “
In the country, the punishment for homosexuality is death and adults can potentially be executed whilst minors can receive up to 74 lashes for an infringement of the law.
The reintroduction of flights to the capital Tehran has come as sanctions from Western countries have been lifted and relations with countries in Europe and the USA have improved.
This petition is hot on the heels of last week's news that female pilots and hostesses from Air France refused to fly the Paris-Tehran route as they didn't want to have to wear a veil and loose trousers. Air France responded by allowing female staff the opportunity to move to a different route if scheduled to fly to Iran.
In the UK, the Foreign Office advice says that “homosexual behaviour, adultery and sex outside of marriage are illegal under Iranian law and can carry the death penalty.” Meanwhile, some human rights groups say that as many as 6,000 gay men and lesbians have been executed in Iran for crimes related to their sexual orientation since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
Air France is citing Saudi Arabia to which the airline also flies which has similar laws and is also somewhere that can impose the death penalty for homosexuality. You can view the petition on Change.org.
What are your views? Do you think cabin crew are right to be saying they don't want to be forced to fly to Iran? Comments welcomed below.