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Gay refugees in Amsterdam relocated after attacks

2015-12-05
Alternate housing arrangements have been arranged in Amsterdam for a number of gay, lesbian and transgender refugees after a series of attacks were reported. Main-Amsterdam Photo After being spat on, threatened and attacked by others in their refugee centre, Dutch News reports five gay men – three from Syria, one from Iran and one from Iraq have been moved to a property owned by housing corporation Rochdale. A spokesperson from the Salvation Army, which manages refugee accommodation across the Dutch capital, said the safety of the five men could not be guaranteed if they were to remain in their former lodgings. This weekend sees another four refugees moved to separate housing in Rotterdam under the supervision of Safe Haven, an organisation that offers guidance to gay people with a multicultural background. Back in October, two asylum seekers were relocated following issues at a refugee centre in the Zuidoost district. From next year, gay refugees are to have their own wing in the Groenhof Refugee Centre in a former care home close to the city centre. City Alderman Simone Kukenheim said asylum seekers who identify as LGBT “are extra vulnerable” and it was “crucial” they have a safe environment to recover and receive care”. Gay rights advocacy group COC have written to State Secretary of Security and Justice Klaas Dijkhoff, reporting the growing number of incidents and the strong likelihood of under-reporting, given many gay refugees have been too afraid to report incidents of harassment or violence, or have simply not known how to. Dijkhoff has previously said he did not support separate accommodation for gay refugees because it was 'stigmatising'.