Dutch group says gay asylum seekers threatened

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A Dutch group is pushing for measures to protect homosexual asylum seekers from intimidation and violence while they are awaiting decisions on their residence requests. Amsterdam’s Secret Garden Foundation, which champions the interests of Muslim gays, says many face problems from other inmates in refugee centres. It also believes the asylum procedure for gays should be eased.

Most homosexuals who flee their home countries have been seriously traumatised, says Secret Garden. This means it is difficult for them to explain their plight openly when they arrive in the Netherlands. It also makes it hard to decide whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Families and authorities in their home countries, some of which deny that homosexuality exists, often refuse to provide evidence of their sexuality.

Secret Garden says interpreters should not come from the asylum seekers home country or region. It also advises that gay asylum claimants should be given the benefit of the doubt until the question of their sexuality can be reliably sorted out by, for example, a psychologist experienced in the field.



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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