On Dec 15, 2015 BuzzFeed News reported: Ryan talks about the night a decade ago when he was stabbed and taunted with homophobic slurs because he was gay.
“He just attacked me and started calling me all kinds of names like ‘battyman’ [a slur for gay men] and kicked me, stabbed me,” said Ryan.
He details other acts of discrimination and violence he says he faced on the island of St. Kitts, the home he left in 2013 to seek refuge in Canada.
But his applications for refugee status have twice been rejected. He’s applied for judicial review but failing that he’ll be sent back to St. Kitts, where he says life will be even harder than before he left.
Gay sex is punishable by up to 10 years in prison in St. Kitts.
“It’s really hard. It’s very much illegal to be gay there. We have to be very much on the low when it comes to dating and doing anything that’s gay,” he said.
In another incident, he says he was robbed and slashed on his hand with a knife while the attacker hurled insults about his sexuality.
He told his hearing adjudicator about these attacks, but she wrote in her decision that she didn’t find him to be credible. Though they are called “panels,” refugee cases are decided by a single adjudicator. In this case it was Brenda Llyod, whom a 2014 analysis found to have among the lowest acceptance rate of cases.
She questioned why Ryan didn’t go to police after the stabbing attack. She also decided that although Ryan “would face a serious possibility of persecution” if he returned home, St. Kitts offered adequate state protection.
“I was just really scared for my life, too. That if I went to the police I would get attacked again,” he said.