Monday 23 September 2019

Gay refugee faces deportation to Iraq because he is ‘not gay enough’

A gay asylum seeker is to be sent back to Iraq because he is ‘not gay enough’, according to a report in the Parool.

Sahir, 29, has been told to report to a deportation centre within the next few days to prepare for his departure. The immigration service does not consider he has proved his homosexuality, even though Mushtak, his partner of 2.5 years testified in court the couple did have sex ‘sometimes several times a day’.

Sahir and Mushtak met in Iraq and had a secret relationship for 10 months before leaving Iraq for the west. They came to the Netherlands via Greece, Austria and Germany. ‘When we saw the rainbow flag hanging from a building in Amsterdam… I can’t explain how it felt, wow,’ Mushtak told the Parool.

The Parool says the court did not take the photo of the rainbow flag, the video of the couple on board a boat during the Gay Pride canal parade or the testimony of friends into account when deciding Sahir must go.


The ruling states that ‘there is no question of the development of homosexual feelings or of a reflective process’ in Sahir’s statement. Instead, he should have been able to give concrete details of his growing awareness of his homosexuality.’

Sahir’s lawyer Erik Hagenaars told the paper that since the IND drew up procedures to deal with asylum claims based on homosexuality, the emphasis has been on the process of self-acceptance of being gay.

‘Some people cannot talk about their emotions and feelings and Sahir is such a person,’ Hagenaars said. ‘Homosexuality can be such an issue for some people that they hide it their entire lives.’

Gay rights lobby group COC told the Parool Sahir is not an isolated case and that dozens of other rejected gay asylum seekers end up living as illegal immigrants. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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