Wednesday May 24th 2017
NEW PETITION CALLS FOR GAY REFUGEES TO BE RELOCATED TO AUST OR ANOTHER SAFE COUNTRY
GAY ASYLUM SEEKERS FACE PERSECUTION IN HOME COUNTRY AND IN PNG
Australian LGBTI rights advocates are concerned about the future of gay asylum seekers at the Manus Island Detention Centre in Paupua New Guinea as the Centre is gradually closed and refugees are either sent home or released into the PNG community.
Asylum seekers on Manus Island have sought asylum in Australia but have been told this will not happen because of Australia's increasingly strict rules against accepting refugees.
Many gay asylum seekers come from countries where homosexuality is severely punished. Papua New Guinea also has criminal sanctions against homosexuality with gaol terms up to fourteen years.
Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
"As a matter of urgency, gay asylum seekers must be brought to Australia or allowed to go to another safe country."
"It is profoundly cruel to give them two options that both involve the potential of being gaoled or worse just because of who they are."
"They must be brought to Australia, or Australia must allow them to go to a country like New Zealand, Canada or the US where they will not be persecuted."
Just.equal has started a petition that features the personal story of Amir, a gay man who fled Iran after being threatened with death. According to Amir,
"I will be executed if I go back or be deported to Iran. I never feel safe in PNG and I havent left the Center in 4 years. I cant live and feel safe in a place that my sexuality is a crime.I have been afraid to tell people in camp about my sexuality. There is many problems for gay guys on Manus. We have been detained among 850 men in small area and there has been many incident about it."
The petition can be found here:
A news report on Amir's case and the situation on Manus Island can be found here:
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.