Gay people flee Ukraine

The United Nations reports on the Ukraine, where they found that gay men are fleeing for their lives.

When Viktor (not his real name), a 27-year-old gay man, opened his door to police one morning, he knew his secret was out.

His claims of having a girlfriend met with scorn – one of his neighbours had told them everything. Unless Viktor could present the woman within 24 hours or pay a bribe he could not afford, he would be arrested.

Panicked, he packed a bag. By the evening, he was gone.

Many LGBTI people face stigma, harassment and violent attacks. In some cases, home has become such a terrifying place that the only option is to leave.

“It is not easy to be LGBTI in the East,” says a shelter director, Olena Shevchenko. “They can beat you, they can rape you. It’s not possible to be open, because you’re never sure what will happen next. You need to lead a hidden life.”

To Your Activist what is happening to gay men in parts of the world is little more than Ethnic Cleansing.

http://www.unhcr.org/news/stories/2017/9/597ef1fc4/gay-displaced-frontlines-ukraines-conflict.html

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Finding a new life

As of this week, 22 people – about a third of those who were being sheltered in Russian safe houses – are now in Toronto and other Canadian cities. The Canadian government has been helping gay Chechen men from Russia to find assylum in Canada.

The evacuations fall outside the conventions of international law and could further impair already tense relations between Russia and Canada.

“Canada accepted a large number of people who are in great danger, and that is wonderful,” said Tanya Lokshina, Russian program director for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based organization, in a telephone interview. “The Canadian government deserves much praise for showing such openness and goodwill to provide sanctuary for these people. They did the right thing.”

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/canada-chechnya-gay-asylum/article36145997/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

Assylum for Aderonke

Aderonke Apata who was told by a judge that she was faking her sexuality has won a 13-year battle to be granted asylum in the UK.

Ms Apata feared being killed or imprisoned if she returned home, but her application for asylum was rejected for a second time in 2015 after the judge said he did not believe she was a lesbian.

In an act of desperation, she sent a private video to the judge as evidence of her sexuality.

The “Asylum for Aderonke” Facebook page has now been updated to say her application had been successful and “she has been granted refugee status”.

Ms Apata has been a prominent gay rights activist, receiving a nomination for an LGBT Role Model Award as well as an Attitude Pride Award for her activism.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/nigeria-gay-rights-activist-aderonke-apata-uk-asylum-granted-high-court-fake-sexulaity-lesbian-lgbt-a7888931.html

Abbey can’t prove he’s gay, says Home Office

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Abbey Kyeyune | 17056

Abbey Kyeyune, a gay Ugandan-born asylum seeker currently living in Manchester, is facing deportation to his place of birth, where homosexuality is punishable by life imprisonment.

Mr Kyeyune says Home Office officials decided he had failed to sufficiently “prove” his sexuality.

He fled Uganda after his family members discovered that he was having a relationship with another man, and became physically violent towards him. Ugandan authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest. He also discovered that his boyfriend had been arrested and detained because of his sexuality.

Updated guidance on LGBT asylum claims was recently published by the Home Office, which forbids “detailed questioning in regard to sexual practices” and requests for “sexually explicit evidence”.

However, Mr Kyeyune’s Home Office interview occurred before this new guidance was in place.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ugandan-man-deportation-lgbt-asylum-seeker-home-office-amber-rudd-abbey-kyeyune-a7624901.html

Borders getting tighter

Gay Afghans can be deported to their home country, where homosexuality is illegal and “wholly taboo” and they must pretend to be straight, under new British government guidelines for handling asylum applications which have been denounced by human rights groups.

The guidance puts the Home Office at odds with United Nations guidelines on refugees, which specify that LGBT people should not be required to change or conceal their identity to avoid persecution.

The Home Office declined to comment directly on the new guidelines, saying only that each claim is considered on its individual merits, and in accordance with the UK’s international obligations. “Where someone is found to be at risk of persecution or serious harm in their country of origin because of their sexuality or gender identity, refuge will be granted,” a spokesperson said.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/25/afghanistan-gay-asylum-seekers-home-office-illegal-homosexuality

Suddenly it’s 1969!

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Kwegyirba Croffie/Twitter | 17025

Thousands of LGBTQ New Yorkers rallied yesterday in front of the Stonewall Inn against President Donald Trump’s executive orders, a week after Trump issued an executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

A judge temporarily blocked the ban on Friday and the government has suspended enforcement of it.

“Let me remind people of why we’re here,” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said. “The pioneers at Stonewall were alone, but they fought and fought and eventually they won. We are gonna do the same thing!” Schumer led chants of “Dump Trump” from the podium as a rainbow flag waved behind him.

New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman recalled the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots, when hundreds of gay New Yorkers rallied for equality in front of the iconic bar. He drew a parallel between the need to stand up for the rights of the marginalized then and now.

“It’s so appropriate that we are at Stonewall today, because we are here to say we stand up to oppression just like our LGBT brothers and sisters stood up to oppression that fateful evening: June 28, 1969,” he said, to cheers.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Hundreds-Push-Back-Against-Executive-Orders-at-Stonewall-Inn-LGBTQ-Rally-412783683.html

Gay assylum cases up

The number of refugees claiming asylum in Britain because being gay puts them in danger in their own country has increased by 450 per cent in five years.
1,115 people claimed asylum due to their sexuality in 2014 compared with just 200 in 2010. Most of the claimants were from Pakistan, with 748 claiming asylum because of their sexuality between 2007 and 2014.

Conservative MP David Burrowes said its very difficult for the Home Office to confirm the claimants are gay. “It is hard to prove your sexuality and ensure genuine claims are successful.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4127380/Number-gay-refugees-seeking-asylum-Britain-increases.html

Ugandan gays flee

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ABC | 16498ga

Uganda is one the most intolerant places in the world for homosexual people. Many have fled to neighbouring Kenya and are now refugees, waiting to be relocated to a country that will protect them, reports ABC.

Many of them now live in poverty.

The conditions are not much better than Uganda and it is a tough existence. Some turn to prostitution, others make handicrafts, but living and working in dense settlements means there are very few secrets. It is also dangerous.

Umar Walusimbi escaped from Uganda to Kenya.

“Now I’m also here in Kenya. Life is not OK.” Recently he was attacked while walking home. “They called me, “You gay — where you going? Give us money”. They slapped me, I fell down. They wanted even to burn me. They do everything to me.”

This cannot continue.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-29/gay-refugees-flee-uganda/8074964