Life is brutal for LGBTs living in Iraq: there’s the familial honor killings, raids, secret police who will burn down your house and slash your throat, the murderers who stalk gay chat rooms and militia groups willing to gang rape or execute the gay out of you.
So when Norway’s High Court refused asylum to gay Iraqi refugee Azad Hassan Rasol and suggested he “go home and be discreet,” they basically told him that if he acts less fruity, he might have a chance of surviving there—hardly a reassuring plan.
Rasol hails from the Kurdish region of Iraq and Norwegian Immigration authorities said since the risk for gay men in that region “differs greatly” from the rest of Iraq, he can seek protection from regional authorities.
Yeah, good plan.
Unless Norway or another country grants Rasol asylum, he and his Norwegian boyfriend (who promises to go with him) will return to Iraq—where Rasol says that his clan will likely kill them both.
Sadly, according to LGBT Asylum News, deportation is the typical policy for Norway and its neighbors:
In the last two years, 40 of 52 gay people seeking asylum have been rejected according to Norwegian government figures. The Ministry of Justice said in an e-mail to NRK (the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) that they are considering changing how LGBT asylum cases are dealt with… Among the countries that have started forced LGBT deportations [back to] Baghdad since 2005 are Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.
Thankfully, Rasol’s case will now be taken up to the Norwegian Supreme Court—but unless international pressure convinces Norway to harbor Rasol, they’ll deport him like the 40 other LGBTs, basically numbering his days.