13 January 2015

Time To Seek Asylum in Europe

One of the surest ways right now to claim asylum in European Union (EU) countries is to pretend that you are a battered homosexual.

After the Court of Justice of the EU ruled that refugees who claim asylum based on their homosexuality should not have to undergo invasive tests to prove it. This ruling, which also prevents detailed questioning on their sexual habits, would provide an easy passport to anybody who wants to migrate to Europe.

There is no question that in least developed countries, it is easy to fake documents and pay somebody in government to provide first-person testimony confirming that you are a gay and that you are being abused in the most horrendous way possible. And with the new ruling, everyone should expect straight people to flood the Luxembourg-based application agency

The judgement was made in response to an appeal from three refugees, including a Ugandan and one from an unnamed Muslim country, who tried to seek asylum in the Netherlands, for fear of being persecuted in their home country. Each was denied asylum on the grounds that their sexual orientation had not been proven.

The court ruled that the credibility of an asylum claim on the basis of homosexuality could not be rejected just because the person in question refuses to answer questions about their personal circumstances. While national authorities are entitled to interview asylum applicants, they must do so in a way that does not violate the right of the asylum seekers private and family life.

"Authorities have every right to investigate your claim, being homosexual should not be a trump card," Paul Dillane, executive director of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) tells Newsweek.

"However, they have to do it in a way that treats these people with dignity, and this means not asking certain questions about your private life or any kind of 'test'. These are undignified, and do not help to determine whether your life is at risk," he says.

Johnathon Cooper, Chief Executive of The Human Dignity Trust told Newsweek: "This judgment recognises that human dignity must be at the heart of the asylum process for gay men and lesbians who are forced to become refugees because of their sexual orientation. The problem is that 80 countries persecute gay men and lesbians by criminalizing them. Gay and lesbian people are then left with little or no choice but to seek asylum.”

Until 2011, Czech authorities used 'phallometric tests' to try to determine sexual orientation in asylum processes, a practice developed in the early years of Communist Czechoslovakia that involved using rubber tubes to measure the blood circulation in a man’s penis when shown pornographic material.

Under the judgement made today, which applies to all EU member states, ‘tests’ or evidence of homosexual acts submitted from tests or on film, even if submitted by the applicant, are ruled an infringement of human dignity and therefore cannot be used to determine asylum status on the grounds of homosexuality.