On Feb 15, 2017 Daily Xtra reported: Amirhossein Zolghadri chose to file a refugee claim instead of hiring a smuggler. Now, he’s trapped in Turkey
Amirhossein Zolghadri is stuck in Turkey after Canada suspended his application, in order to prioritize Syrian refugees. After applying for resettlement in the US, his application was suspended just before his final interview due to President Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban.” Courtesy Amirhossein Zolghadri
Amirhossein Zolghadri regrets not trusting his smuggler.
The gay Iranian man, who also identifies as queer, was supposed to be trafficked out of Turkey to Britain or Norway. But the shifty, burly man left Zolghadri with a bad feeling. He instead filed a refugee claim with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Canada selected him for resettlement.
“I got very scared of that smuggler. But now when I look back, I feel I made the most terrible mistake of my life,” Zolghadri says. “Now I feel this smuggler was much more trustworthy than the UNHCR and Canada, because they both have let me down.”
Zolghadri is among a handful of LGBT Iranians who have told Xtra that Canada had selected them for resettlement, before abandoning them to make space for Syrians.
The two main Toronto advocacy groups for LGBT Iranians — the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees and the Iranian Queer Organization — say they’re in touch with dozens in the same situation, and that most had been referred to the United States before President Donald Trump suspended refugee resettlement from seven predominantly-Muslim countries.