Subject: Gay Pride London - "Stop Deporting Gay Asylum Seekers"
Date: Jul 04 2005, 12:33 PM
Stop deporting gay asylum seekers
Gays sent back face jail, torture & murder
London – 2 July 2005
“Tony Blair deports gay asylum seekers. Shame!”
“Labour deports gays to face jail, torture and death”
Bearing placards with these words, the OutRage! contingent on
Saturday’s Pride London parade condemned the UK government’s abuse of
LGBT asylum seekers.
“Tony Blair’s government is deporting lesbian and gay asylum seekers
who have fled jail, rape and torture in countries like Jamaica, Iran,
Belarus, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Algeria,” reports Wendyl
Harris of the queer rights group OutRage!.
“Many have been victims of queer-bashing violence and attempts to kill
them. Some have seen their partners murdered, their homes fire-bombed
and their families stoned for having a gay child.
“Home Secretary Charles Clarke is ordering these victims of violent
homophobia to return to face their persecutors and to suffer further
brutality,” added Ms Harris.
On the main stage in Trafalgar Square, OutRage! activist, Aaron Saeed,
a gay Muslim of Pakistani heritage, condemned the Pakistan government
for “jailing, flogging and stoning lesbian and gay people.”
He also attacked the UK government for “refusing asylum to gay
refugees fleeing homophobic persecution in Pakistan.”
Two other OutRage! speakers, Andrew and his Columbian boyfriend,
Gustavo, detailed how right-wing death squads and paramilitaries in
Columbia target gays and lesbians for “social cleansing” and
“The government’s abuse of gay asylum seekers defies international law
and humanitarian norms of civilised behaviour,” according to Peter
Tatchell of OutRage!
“Most asylum claimants get no adequate legal representation. The Home
Office often rejects gay asylum claims based on biased, inaccurate
information, which glosses over the violation of queer human rights
around the world.
“After escaping homophobic victimisation in their home countries, when
they arrive here gay asylum applicants are arrested and imprisoned in
detention centres – often for months at a time with no contact with
the outside world. This perpetuates the abuse they suffered in their
countries of origin.
“The Home Office justifies refusing gay victims refugee status by
arguing they will not suffer persecution if they return to their home
country, move to a new city or village where no one knows them, stop
acting effeminately and never have sex unless it is ‘with discretion’.
It is monstrous that the Home Secretary expects gay people to deny
their sexuality,” said Mr Tatchell.
For photos of OutRage! at the Pride London parade and rally on 2 July
2005 and further information: Brett Lock – 0770 843 5917