In over 70 member states of the United Nations, same-sex acts among adults are criminalised. Among those, 5 have legal provisions with the death penalty as punishment. This was recently highlighted by Radio 1 DJ, Scott Mills who travelled to Uganda where the death penalty could soon be introduced for being gay.
The reality of being returned is basically a death sentence. ‘We’re beaten every day, chopped up, mugged, persecuted, abused. As long as you’re recognized, you’re victimized. Every day in fear. Tomorrow you might die.’ Harrison, Jamaican asylum-seeker.
In the UK the treatment of LGBT asylum seekers has also been documented Stonewall in their report “No Going Back”. The report highlighted the fact that in their initial Home Office interview, many gay asylum seekers did not initially disclose their sexuality or the persecution they were facing as a result of this. When people later explained the fear they felt as a result of their sexuality, the Home Office often labeled their asylum claims as ‘opportunistic’ which damaged the overall credibility of their case. Such findings are very hard to overcome without expert legal representation which has unfortunately reduced the chances of a person obtaining free legal advice. Changes to the Legal Aid system over recent years have made it much harder for people with such cases to find free legal advice of a high standard.
Therefore No Going Back offers free legal advice to those who may have been refused Legal Aid due to the difficulties of their case, and to those who wish to use a legal adviser who is an expert in this area. No Going Back raises funds independently for this service and is therefore able to consider every case on its individual merits, without being limited by Legal Aid requirements.
Here is the story of Ayaz Marhoni & Mahmoud Asgari
In 2005 international controversy erupted after Iranian officials executed two gay teenagers who were originally reported to be convicted of homosexuality.
Only the age of one of the two executed teens was officially released to the public. He was 18 year old Ayaz Marhoni. The other, Mahmoud Asgari, according to the Iranian Student's News Agency (ISNA) was aged 17, but other news agencies have reported the teenager's age as 16. In the original report by the ISNA it was said that the two were found having sex together when they were both 16. It also reported that they were held and beaten for fourteen months before the execution.
According to Iranian newspapers, the two boys were given 228 lashes for their other convictions of theft, disrupting public order and public drinking before they were hanged in Edalat ("Justice" in English) Square in the Iranian city of Mashhad.
Photos of the execution released by Iranian Students News Agency showed the two teens crying in the truck driving them to the gallows in Justice Square.
To view coverage of this terrible act click on the YouTube link to the right. This is the reason why gay asylum seekers need the very best legal support available.