Gay Iranian seeks asylum in Ireland

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A 36-year-old gay man has just received a second shot at asylum from the High Court in Ireland, after being initially rejected by the state.

The man fled Iran after being raped by the son of a Colonel in the local police force, who lived in a neighboring apartment. The son invited the man over to watch gay porn, then attempted to force the man to have sex with him. He initially refused to engage in sexual contact, but consented after being threatened with blackmail. The Colonel appeared during the rape and took either a photo or video which he then showed the victim’s mother.

After fleeing the country concealed in a friend’s truck for fear of persecution because of his sexuality, he arrived in Ireland in June 2007 and applied for asylum but was rejected at the first stage and on appeal.

What the Irish tribunal called into question was the veracity of the man’s claim, deciding that it was inconclusive whether the man was actually a homosexual.

Justice Colm Mac Eochaidh, of the Irish High Court, granted the man leave to challenge the refusal of asylum on the grounds that the manner in which the tribunal assessed his credibility, and the way in which they reached the conclusion that he was not a homosexual, was sufficient to warrant an order quashing the decision reached.

Justice Mac Eochaidh said he found it “particularly difficult to comprehend” how the man’s claim that he had been raped could be called into question by his admission that he knew the man who raped him, and that he was aware that his rapist found him attractive because of suggestive remarks made by the man prior to the incident.

Additionally, Eochaidh stated that the tribunals finding, that the pictures taken of the incident called into question the man’s homosexuality, was irrational and illegal.

The man’s self-identification as a gay man should be a relevant consideration in such a case, concluded the Judge, who then granted the man the right to challenge the Refugee Appeals Tribunal decision, based on their mis-handling of his case.

429Magazine

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