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 âact or dressâ like a gay man
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 âwalk, act or dressâ 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.
âThe way you walk, act or dress does not show even in the slightest that you could be homosexual,â the official reportedly wrote in his assessment rejecting the claim.
The official also found âpotential for aggressionâ, which âwouldnât be expected from a homosexualâ, 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: âArenât homosexuals rather social?â
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 ârather earlyâ and so not likely, particularly in a society s uch as Afghanistan âwhere there is no public sexual stimulation through fashion and advertisementâ.Deported gay Afghans told to âpretend to be straightâ Read more
The Afghan, who came to Austria alone as a minor, was appealing against the decision, the Falter said.
Austriaâs interior ministry said on Wednesday it could not comment on the specific case, but it was ânot reflective of the [wider] realityâ. About 120,000 asylum claims had been decided on over the past two years, it said.
âAsylum 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,â the ministry said in a statement, adding that âindividual impressionsâ were significant in the interview process.
It said it was working with the UN refugee agency to offer further training on LGBT issues to âensure qualityâ in the asylum evaluation process.
Homosexuality is illegal in Afghanistanâs conservative, highly gender-segregated society.Topics
- LGBT rights
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