October 29, 2014 – Reported by Pink News – Home Secretary Theresa May needs to urgently tackle homophobic abuse experienced by gay asylum seekers in detention, the head of a leading campaign organisation says.
Paul Dillane, executive director of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG), has warned that the number of claimants forced into prolonged detention is on the rise.
In an article published by VICE today, two gay men who fled persecution in Pakistan recalled of experiencing homophobic bullying and abuse during the asylum process. One described detention centres as being “totally unsafe” for LGBT people after being subjected to weeks of abuse and sexual harassment. Another endured months of bullying and violence in community accommodation.
Mr Dillane said: “Gay, lesbian and bisexual asylum seekers regularly complain about bullying, verbal abuse, physical violence and sexual harassment in immigration detention centres and community accommodation. Seeking asylum is not a crime yet the Home Office is detaining increasing numbers of gay, lesbian and bisexual people who seek asylum, often for weeks or months.
“The Home Secretary gave a commitment that asylum applicants would be treated with dignity and respect. To achieve this she should end the detention of LGBTI people, continue to improve the quality of asylum decision-making and take steps to tackle homophobic and transphobic abuse experienced by people seeking asylum.”…