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Austria accuses Afghan asylum seeker of pretending to be gay

Posted by On August 15, 2018

Austria accuses Afghan asylum seeker of pretending to be gay

Austria Austria accuses Afghan asylum seeker of pretending to be gay

Teenager fearing persecution has bid rejected because he did not ‘act or dress’ like a gay man

People at the border between Austria and Germany in 2015
People at the border between Austria and Germany in 2015. Photograph: Kerstin Joensson/AP

An Afghan teenager who said he feared being persecuted in his home country for being gay has had his asylum application rejected by Austria after an official said he did not “walk, act or dress” like a gay man, according to reports.

An official in Lower Austria found no grounds for fea r of persecution based on the sexual orientation of the 18-year-old, the Falter newspaper reported.

“The way you walk, act or dress does not show even in the slightest that you could be homosexual,” the official reportedly wrote in his assessment rejecting the claim.

The official also found “potential for aggression”, which “wouldn’t be expected from a homosexual”, because the man fought with others in the accommodation where he was being housed.

He reportedly had few friends and liked spending time alone or in small groups, leading the official to question in his report: “Aren’t homosexuals rather social?”

The official rejected the statement that the Afghan teenager had kissed straight men, saying he would have been beaten if he had done so, the Falter reported.

He had said he became aware of his sexuality when he was 12 years old, but the official found that was “rather early” and so not likely, particularly in a society s uch as Afghanistan “where there is no public sexual stimulation through fashion and advertisement”.

Deported gay Afghans told to ‘pretend to be straight’ Read more

The Afghan, who came to Austria alone as a minor, was appealing against the decision, the Falter said.

Austria’s interior ministry said on Wednesday it could not comment on the specific case, but it was “not reflective of the [wider] reality”. About 120,000 asylum claims had been decided on over the past two years, it said.

“Asylum seekers must substantiate their reasons for fleeing. There are no concrete rules of proof, but the authorities must show if and why a claim was found to have been substantiated,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that “individual impressions” were significant in the interview process.

It said it was working with the UN refugee agency to offer further training on LGBT issues to “ensure quality” in the asylum evaluation process.

Homosexuality is illegal in Afghanistan’s conservative, highly gender-segregated society.

Topics
  • Austria
  • Europe
  • LGBT rights
  • Refugees
  • Afghanistan
  • Migration
  • news
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Source: Google News Austria | Netizen 24 Austria

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