Does the Home Office have a hidden agenda against LGBT Asylum Claims?
The Home Office has been guilty of refusing at least 3,100 LGBT asylum claims from nationals whose countries of origin criminalise consensual same-sex acts.
According to analysis from the Liberal Democrats for figures published by the Home Office between 2016-2018, 1,197 LGBT Pakistanis were refused asylum after making a claim for protection on the grounds of their sexual orientation. In addition, 640 LGBT Bangladeshis and 389 Nigerian also had their claims on the same grounds refused.
In Pakistan, to engage in “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” is punishable with life in prison. Moreover, Amnesty reports that “LGBT activists continued to be routinely harassed and subjected to arbitrary detention by state and non-state actors” in Bangladesh. In Nigeria, homosexual acts are punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.
Moreover, it was not just the aforementioned countries whom have tough laws on relating to same-sex relationships, asylum applications on grounds of sexual orientations were refused from countries such as: Cameroon, Ghanaian, Iranian and Ugandan.
The Liberal Democrats spokesperson for Home Affairs, Christine Jardin who stated that the “Conservative government is failing to stand up for LGBT rights by refusing asylum” and that the government was “turning its back and looking the other way”.
This issue was given more coverage due to the case of a Nigerian man, Adeniyi Raji, who fled to Britain to avoid persecution for being a Homosexual. He was sacked from his employment in Nigeria due to his sexual orientation and received constant death threats on social media.
He claimed asylum but this was refused and upheld by the first-tier tribunal, he is appealing the decision but now faces the possibility of being deported to Nigeria.
The Home Office responded to the reports by stating that “individuals are only returned to their country of origin when the Home Office and the courts deem it is safe to do so”.
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