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Friday, 14 May 2010

UK Supreme Court test case applicant thanks supporters

Laws which mean gay and lesbian asylum seekers can be returned to countries where they face persecution were challenged this week in the UK's highest court.

The Supreme Court held a three-day hearing of two separate cases brought by gay men – one from Cameroon and the other from Iran – appealing against previous court decisions that they should not be granted asylum in the UK. This comment is from one of them

Source: Amnesty International UK

By garett222

After waiting so long for the day to come, I was still surprised when it was time to start our early morning trip to London. I had been getting quite anxious and nervous as the time approached, so I was relieved that soon the three days would be over.

Although it was hard to have to listen again to so many details of what happened to me, and to hear other people discussing me, I was glad to feel that the judges had taken my case seriously and seemed to be imagining something of what it had been like for me. I had felt  the previous Court of Appeal Hearing was too rushed and that because there was less focus on the facts, the judges had less chance to understand my story.

It was also good to have my case put into a human rights context by the people who came from UNHCR and the Human Rights Commission – and to feel that the judgment might be of help to other people.

The timing was strange, because each day we were getting news about the form of our new government. On the last day at lunchtime everyone was talking about the announcement about who would be the next Home Secretary. Every time we walked to and from the Court, we saw photographers and reporters around Downing Street, the Cabinet Office and Houses of Parliament.

I knew that my case raised a very important issue, but was still surprised that there was some publicity in the Guardian and on channel 5 about the hearing.

I felt very grateful to have a legal team who worked so well together and who were so supportive of me. Now that it is over, I have to settle down for another wait. We know it will be at least two months and possibly four or five. As far as I understand it, the verdicts could be either that I am awarded refugee status, or that the Appeal is turned down – or that it is allowed and my case is sent back to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

There were a lot of people in the court and I did not work out who they all were. Some were supporters from UKLGIG and I am very grateful to them and to all who sent me messages. If you are reading this and are one of the people who came to the court, I would like to thank you too.


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