Words: Steve Brown
The UK Home Office has reportedly refused more than 3,100 asylum claims from LGBTQ people who fled have countries where homosexuality is a criminal offence.
According to The Guardian, at least 1,197 LGBTQ people from Pakistan were refused asylum after making claims for protection on the grounds of their sexuality between 2016 and 2018.
Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats – published by the Home Office – found a further 640 LGBTQ Bangladeshis and 389 Nigerians also had their claims rejected on the same grounds.
Currently in Pakistan, ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’ is punishable with life in prison and the transgender community often face suffer harassment and violent attacks, Amnesty reported.
Christine Jardine, the Lib Dems’ spokesperson for home affairs, said: “This Conservative government is letting down every LGBT+ person and every individual in this country who cares about human rights.
“We should be leading the campaign across the world against homophobia and transphobia.
“Instead we have a government that is turning its back and looking the other way.
“These figures are a disturbing reminder that this Conservative government is failing to stand up for LGBT+ rights by refusing asylum to more than 1,000 people a year who face prosecution at home simply for who they are.
“The Liberal Democrats demand better for LGBT+ people wherever they live.
“We will establish a new, dedicated unit to handle asylum claims, free of political interference and without the Home Office’s culture of disbelief.”
This year, the UK Home Office faced backlash after they used the Pride colours in a bid to make people believe they are allies to the LGBTQ community.
Attitude Pride Award winner Kenneth Macharia is another man facing deportation back to Kenya despite claiming he would be imprisoned because of his sexuality.