Petition for review of approaches to LGBT asylum
5th Aug 2008
Greens launch Downing Street petition calling for instruction, training and guidance for all asylum staff
LGBT Greens has launched a petition on the Downing Street website calling for an urgent review of Home Office approaches to LGBT asylum seekers.
Phelim Mac Cafferty, spokesperson for LGBT Greens stated:
"After much campaigning on the issue since the cases of Iranian LGBT asylum seekers Pegah Emembakhsh and Mehdi Kazemi came to light, we have got clearance from the web team on the Prime Minister's website for our petition.
"We now challenge the government to start treating LGBT asylum seekers with the fairness that they deserve. These are people who've often fled persecution, rape and torture who flee to our country and our response is to lock them up like criminals. We say enough is enough of this inhumane policy - we need to stick our necks out now and stand up for LGBT asylum seekers."
The full text of the petition is:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to urgently review the way LGBT asylum seekers are treated.
In the light of the cases of Pegah Emembakhsh and Mehdi Kazemi, Iranian LGBT asylum seekers, who sought asylum in the UK , we call upon the Prime Minister for an urgent review of the services provided for all LGBT asylum seekers.
In particular we think that the following are needed for fair treatment.
1. Compulsory training for all asylum staff on sexual-orientation and trans-awareness.
2. Explicit instructions to all immigration and asylum staff, and asylum judges, that homophobic and transphobic persecution are legitimate grounds for granting asylum.
3. Clearer and up-to-date guidance from the Home Office for asylum judges to reflect the accurate scale of LGBT persecution throughout the world using expert information from NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
4. Legal-aid funding for asylum claims needs to be substantially increased.