‘I’d rather die than go there’: Gay Egyptian seeks asylum

On Feb 23, 2017 CBC reported: Samer Habib, 23, is worried if he is deported he will be forced into the Egyptian army or land in jail

Samer Habib, 23, is afraid to go back to Egypt to renew his passport. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)
Samer Habib goes through the binder of paperwork he hopes will allow him to stay in Canada.

It contains his passport, his story, school transcripts, a work permit and news articles explaining what happens to gay men, like him, in Egypt.

Habib, 23, has started the immigration process under the Manitoba provincial nominee program, but his Egyptian passport will expire in June. He’s now preparing to apply for refugee status because he is afraid to go back to Egypt to renew his passport.

The 23-year-old gay man said when he thinks about having to go back to Egypt, he is afraid.

“It puts a lot of fear and it makes me feel like my life is in danger,” Habib said.

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Habib became a student at the University of Winnipeg about five years ago and had a student visa. After graduating, he received a post-graduation work permit for his job as an office assistant at the university.

He began applying to immigrate under the provincial nominee program and was approved for the next steps in January, but learned that it could take 16 months for his application to go through.

There is one large hurdle in the way — his Egyptian passport is set to expire in June.

Samer Habib hopes the information in his binder will lead to a successful asylum claim in Canada. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)
To have his passport renewed, Habib would have to return to Egypt and complete three years of mandatory military service.

“I don’t feel safe. Like, what’s going to happen in the next few months if I have to leave the country?” Habib said.

Particularly because he is a gay man, he fears his life will be in danger.

Read more at ‘I’d rather die than go there’: Gay Egyptian seeks asylum – Manitoba – CBC News

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