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Thursday, 27 April 2006

Austria Grants Refugee Status to Gay Man From Iran

Source: UK Gay News

A gay Iranian has been granted asylum in Austria on appeal, after having his application initially turned down.

The un-named man had applied for refugee status in Austria on the grounds of sexual orientation in his home country and resulting persecution.

“We are very happy that Austria is granting asylum to gays and lesbians persecuted on the grounds of sexual orientation,” Kurt Krickler, secretary-general of Homosexuelle Initiative (HOSI) Wien, Austria’s largest gay and lesbian organisation, said today.

“The only problematic issue here is that it seems that an appeal is always needed to get a positive decision.  We have the impression that negative decisions are done on a routine basis in the first instance to put off applicants, and only those who insist and appeal are successful, being granted refugee status in the end.

“It almost looks as if in the first instance the authorities are instructed to automatically refuse asylum,” he suggested.

“Austria has a long tradition to accept refugees who flee persecution for their homosexuality.  Our first successful case, again an Iranian, dates back to 1984, and only last June a gay couple from Iran was granted asylum in Austria, just a month before the appalling execution by hanging of two young men in Iran.”

Mr. Krickler added that in all the previous cases, initial applications were turned down, and reversed on appeal.


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