The Netherlands Welcomes Gay Iraqis


The Dutch government, recognizing the increasingly dangerous situation LGBT Iraqis face in their home country, announced this week that it would open its doors to gay asylum seekers.

Reports Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

Mr Leers had already announced a temporary halt to the deportation of gay Iraqis last month following an alert from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry warned that it was impossible to be openly gay anywhere in Iraq without being at serious risk. The Iraqi authorities also fail to take any measures to stop discrimination or attacks on homosexuals.

Koen van Dijk of the Dutch gay rights organisation COC described the announcement as an important victory for Iraqis who had fled the country because of their sexual orientation. According to van Dijk, Iraq is the most dangerous country in the world for gay people: “Research has shown that 750 people have been murdered for this reason since 2003. There are systematic campaigns. Organised militias publicly declare that they’re hunting down people who exhibit ‘deviant’ behaviour and should be killed according to Islamic law.”

This of course is not an open door immigration policy. Asylum seekers will have to prove their claim is genuine–and this could be problematic. EU immigration authorities have found it difficult to establish what truly constitutes proof of being gay without relying on lazy stereotypes.

This is something Koen van Dijik also noted in greeting this news, saying, “People will have to prove something they’ve taught themselves to disguise out of fear for their entire life. It will be a very tricky situation and the immigration officials carrying out the interviews will need special training.”

Just this past week it emerged that the Canadian federal court had to step in with regards to a gay Nigerian man’s refugee claim because, the Court said, senior immigration judges had used incorrect and possibly stereotyping standards to asses whether the man’s claim was genuine, despite the man having offered an abundance of proof including photos of him and his partner.

A new wave of violence against Iraq’s LGBT population was reported at the beginning of March, with at least 42 gay men having been killed. Later reports suggest that some of those men were killed for being “emo” or “metrosexual.”


Related Reading:

Gay Iraqi’s Story of Death Threats and Attempted Rape (VIDEO)

European Parliament Calls for Greater LGBT Asylum Protections

“A Spreading Campaign of Torture and Murder” Against Gay Iraqis

Iraq LGBT Crisis Update: Profiling the Worsening Situation

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to torbakhopper.


Sean P.
Sean P.4 months ago

Very good news!

P.S. Guys, please visit my website to support my mission:

Carol R.
Carol R.4 years ago

The Netherlands have always amazed me with the openmindedness and compasion. To bad other countries don't follow their example.

Candice Lassich
Candice Lassich4 years ago

"Homosexuality is found in 450 species, homophobia is found in one. Which seems unnatural now?"

Timothy Wood
Timothy W.4 years ago

I am going to try and give Michelle H some slack for a change. Think of it as my non-christian compassion. She apparently is a victim of christian child indoctrination abuse. She was never allowed to learn how to think for herself. Her Great Great Grandfather and his preacher said this is what we should believe, and passed down the hate.

Even if someone thinks being gay is wrong, I would think that simple human decency would dictate giving them shelter from an environment such as that in Iran.

Elizabeth Koenig
Elizabeth Koenig4 years ago

Bravo Netherlands!

Lauren B.

Good for you, Netherlands!

Joan S.
Joan S.4 years ago

I hope the compassion spreads.

B Smith
Barbara Smith4 years ago

We have plenty here in UK, Netherlands are welcome if they need any more. I am not against Homosexuality but just that we have far too many illegal immigrants here and we can't cope with schools, hospitals, doctors and housing.

Arild Warud
Arild Warud4 years ago

Kudos to Netherland,thanks Steve.

Willem W.
Willem W.4 years ago

Dear Steve,
the Dutch government doesn't invite homosexual Iraqis to come to Holland. The Dutch government doesn't send Iraqi homosexuals back to their country. Dutch human right groups and opposition parties, pressed the government to stop deporting those people.
There still is controversy about Iranian homosexuals, who are often forces to go back......
Willem Wachtmeester,
Den Haag,