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Asylum for gay refugee who was asked the meaning of the pride flag’s colors

After being rejected by the asylum office, a gay Iranian got justice in the Federal Administrative Court

Navid vor dem BVwG
Queer Base/Twitter

In June, Navid’s story caused outrage in the community: The well-integrated asylum seekers from Iran got a negative asylum decision: The Federal Office for Aliens and Asylum (BFA) did not believe him to be gay – despite he is living in a relationship with a man, just because he did not know the meanings of each color of the rainbow flag. Now the case has a happy ending.

The court recognized Navid’s asylum status

Queer Base, an Viennese NGO which looks after more than 300 LGBT refugees, reported on Twitter that the Federal Administrative Court (BVwG) has now cashed the negative asylum decision. It granted Navid asylum status. „We are very pleased with Navid and all supporters!“, the NGO wrote on Twitter.

The negative decision of the BFA had several gaps, experts explain. For example, his partner was not heard as a witness. As openly gay man Navid has to fear the death penalty in his home country. He fled Iran in 2014 and has been well integrated in Austria.

In the first instance, there are more and more rejections with „grossest legal defects“

But Navid’s negative first-instance decision is not an isolated case: the decisions, with reject the applications of LGBT refugees, often have „grossest legal deficiencies“, said Julia Valenta, legal counsel of Queer Base, in June the Austrian news programme ZIB 2.

„We also have the feeling that there is enormous pressure from politicians to (…) make as many negative asylum applications as possible“, Valenta continued. The number of negative first-instance decisions accumulated in the last month, Queer Base noticed. BFA did not answer requests for a comment.

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