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Friday, 16 April 2010

Australia accepts Indian gay Muslim as a refugee

Gay MuslimsImage by lewishamdreamer via Flickr
Source: Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog

The Refugee Review tribunal has accepted that a gay Muslim  man from Delhi was a refugee, despite the court decision there decriminalising gay sex. This is now the second time this year that the tribunal has allowed a gay Indian to be accepted as a refugee.

The Tribunal in the case named 0905785 stated that it accepted:

    * that the applicant was a garment designer and embroiderer and was employed by [Company 2] and [Company 3] , [Mr A] was an employee of [Company 2] and [Company 3] and was responsible for providing the applicant’s training and also supervised his work and the applicant had a homosexual relationship which commenced in August 2006 with [Mr A].

    * that the applicant commenced his own business in November 2007, [Mr A] worked in the new business, their homosexual relationship continued and in June 2008 they decided to live together in the factory.

    * that one of the employees came to know about their homosexual relationship, the employee mentioned it within the community and as a result local people and the applicant’s family members came to know about their relationship.

    * that the applicant’s family were Muslim, very conservative and performed religious rituals very strictly and they found the applicant’s homosexual relationship disgraceful, the homosexual relationship was impacting on the respect of his family in society and the applicant’s father was questioned by religious and social leaders.

    * that the applicant’s father advised the applicant to cut off his relationship with [Mr A] and get married, the applicant refused his father's proposal, [in] July 2008 his father and brother came to his factory with a few other people and assaulted [Mr A] and forcibly took him home.

    * that the applicant was beaten and his mother tried to protect him and he closed his factory premises.

    * that it would have been difficult for him to come out of his home, he was disowned by his family members and the members of the community, he was hated by the community people and the religious leaders acted against him.

    * that it became difficult for the applicant to lead his life with dignity and he became a victim of harassment, discrimination and persecution and the applicant suffered from mental issues as no-one supported him and [Mr A] had disappeared in fear of his family members.

    * that the Indian High Court ruling in July 2009 to declare invalid section 377 of the Indian Penal Code as being unconstitutional, and in effect decriminalising homosexual acts, is unlikely to have any immediate impact either now or in the reasonably foreseeable future as to how Indians generally, and Muslims, regard homosexuality. Having regard to the applicant’s evidence and the independent information about the attitude of Muslims to homosexuals, the Tribunal is satisfied that prejudice against homosexuals is entrenched within the Muslim community and the local community generally and that the High Court ruling is unlikely to make any identifiable change to such an attitude either now or in the reasonably foreseeable future.

    * that relocation within another part of India is not a safe option for the applicant.

    * that there is no part of India to which the applicant could reasonably be expected to relocate where he would be safe from the persecution which he fears.

    * that the public authorities in India would not provide the applicant with protection against the harm he fears.
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