Sunday, July 15, 2012

Iraqi Gays Offered Asylum

Good news has been reported for long suffering LGBTs in Iraq as the Netherlands has announced they will offer asylum to those not only persecuted but in danger of being killed.

As GayStarNews reports, The Dutch government has announced it will open its doors to LGBT Iraqis, after declaring the country unsafe for homosexuals.

Dutch Immigration Minister Geert Leers had already announced a temporary halt to the deportation of LGBT asylum seekers back to Iraq in June, but has now gone the further step of declaring that it is impossible to be openly gay without risking your safety in any part of the country.

The website Care2 also reports, This of course is not an open door immigration policy. Asylum seekers will have to prove their claim is genuine–and this could be problematic. EU immigration authorities have found it difficult to establish what truly constitutes proof of being gay without relying on lazy stereotypes.

This is something Koen van Dijik also noted in greeting this news, saying, “People will have to prove something they’ve taught themselves to disguise out of fear for their entire life. It will be a very tricky situation and the immigration officials carrying out the interviews will need special training".

Surprisingly London based Ali Hili (featured in the video with LGBT activist Peter Tatchell) has neither commented on his blog/website for Iraqi LGBT nor his Facebook about this news nor added any links to articles about the Netherlands offering asylum.

This writer in the past (on earlier versions of FOTR) has been a champion of Hili and his org which "collects donations to house" LGBT Iraqis until people questioned and inquired about financial information for his group several years ago.

When those questions and inquiries were not answered, I backed off the support I offered in postings for him and his organization. I am in no way implying that he nor his group does anything wrong when it comes to garnering funds but I do find it extremely odd, in fact unsettling to some extent that as of this writing no reference nor comment of what has been announced by the Dutch government has come from Hili.

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