Norway Tells Gay Iraqi Refugee To Return To His Deadly Country And Act Less Gay


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.


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  • bagooka

    I guess I won’t be spending my tourist dollars in Norway.

  • Rusty Redfield

    I doubt they told him to go home and be “discrete”. But spelling, grammar and factual accuracy are not Queerty’s strong suits.

  • paulcanning

    The United States is also deporting LGBT refugees and saying the same to them. Mexicans in particular are increasingly being refused asylum.

    There is also an appalling situation in detention centers for LGBT asylum seekers.

    See this story of the rape and other bad treatment of a transgender asylum seeker from Mexico – the ACLU is suing:

  • Robert in NYC

    Why doesn’t he marry his Norwegian boyfriend, case solved? Norway legalized same-sex marriage earlier this year. Makes no sense.

  • DonsterNYC

    Why isn’t there an online petition protesting these deportations that we can sign so it can be sent to Norway’s government.

  • paulcanning

    @Robert in NYC

    I don’t know but I do know that in other countries you do have to get the government’s permission to marry if you are an asylum seeker.


    I haven’t had a response yet on whether a petition is wanted but it probably isn’t since he can’t literally be removed – as Iraq won’t allow it (see my story) – and because the legal case is ongoing.

  • jason

    Norway is a shit-hole. It’s a nation of depressed lunatics.

  • Derek

    What is the difference between those who are accepted and those who aren’t? Obviously we don’t know the whole story. Countries can’t realistically let in every single person in the world who would like a better life there.

    Especially from Mexico to the United States based on being gay when Mexico City and one of the states has legalized gay marriage. But on what basis should gay and lesbian refugees all be granted asylum in the United States when they are not officially persecuted?

  • nik

    Ok…im norwegian…..
    and i just wanna say…this article makes it look like they rejected the man, because he’s gay..*at least, thats how i saw it*
    and i dont wanna be jumping up and defending my country with a loong message or something -.-…..but norway accepts over half of the people who immigrates….a country cant always accept everyone who wanna come in……but norway is one of the most accepting countries in europe for immigrants…..and SOME thinks we let in too many…

    so just because a guy who may be rejected, is gay…doesnt mean the reason he’s being rejected….is because he’s gay…..its just that my country is having a few troubles with handling all of the refugees……some peeps wanna be more strict…and some peeps
    wanna let more people in…..politics *shudders*

    personally…i really think they should let this guy stay
    but its not up to me -.-…..i hope he will though^^

    btw…gay marriage is legal here…but i think he needs a permit to marry his bf…

    ……sry for my weird english…its really late :)

  • geoff

    @nik: thanks for a residents perspective – english pretty good even if it’s late.

  • Typical European Country

    Norway is a typical European country. It talks the progressive talk, but it is all just talk. At the end of the day, they have a racist immigration policy that sends people back to die. All the “progressiveness” is window dressing, not genuine.

  • Ari

    This is just typical of Norway and not really surprise at all.

  • shannon


  • Nik

    Racist…immigration policy? ……sending people back to die?
    It’s not so simple to just let everyone in………
    We’ve almost let too many in… It’s not a big country…

    However… The problems lies with those damm countries with their inhuman treatment of gay people…

    Gay marriage is legalized over here… Around 56% of the refugees are accepted…..a lot more than most countries…. And people still complain? Compared to everywhere else?….
    Really? Norway is a “shit-hole”? …… Some people always complain….

  • Martin

    @Typical European Country: Oh yeah and “America” is a shining example of “progressiveness”??? Secret CIA prisons, Bradley Manning and all those UN refugees the worlds “greatest nation” accepts every single year…. You could add climate and delivering up your own war criminals for international prosecution… Oh yeah and LBGT rights… I guess we europeans should be ashamed of our backward societies when lectured by humanitarian Amaricans…
    Oh yeah and Im Danish BTW

  • Jeff

    The Norwegian BF will just conveniently break up with him before he goes back to Iraq.

  • AB

    Gay people seem to live in their own little bubble, and when a gay production mentions person X from country Z, its like its their own friend who’s dealing with these issues. You might share a bond with an unknown person just because of their skin color or “sexuality” or whatever (Remember, how the opposite of that is racism?), but look at what you’re talking about. You’re talking about Iraq. You’re not talking about the local mall.

    Country A can’t let everybody from Country B immigrate, even if they would want to, unless that country is that holy roman city with 12 people, then I think they could manage. Who wouldn’t want to get the hell out of Iraq, even as a citizen and not a soldier? I wouldn’t even visit any part of the middle east or africa for 20,000 dollars. My life is a bit more valuable than that.

    All the worlds problems could be solved when you take the starving african children and move them into america. Everybody could just emigrate out of those hellholes and the sun would shine. For some reason I don’t believe that’s the answer.

    Azad Hassan Rasol seeks refugee status because hes gay, setting himself ahead of people who actually need asylum due to being on peoples lists. Now he is identified as being gay, by name, by a news source, and whoevers running around hurting gay people will only target him. He could have done what everybody else does, hide their religion or ‘sexuality’ or ethnicity as best they can until they find a way to settle elsewhere. Or, he could spend his time campaigning for office? A million alternatives present themselves that would be better than “I’m gay so give me things”

  • sven

    we have too many immigrants here. I agree with the Norwegian high court. Hopefully Europe gets even tougher.

  • declanto

    @jason: LOL you of all peoiple talking about lunatics and Shit-holes! You are one of the most rabid, bigoted, opinionated people who post on Queerty. I’m frankly happy to know you won’t be coming to Norway any time. You couldn’t afford it, anyway.

  • declanto

    @Typical European Country: Norway is at the top of the list in standard of living, and is the envy of the European Union. It’s like winning the lottery to gain asylum in Norway, thus everybody wants in. Alas, we are only 5 million souls here, and need to maintain some sort of social balance and not be overwhelmed by refugees, but we still take in more than our share. What are you doing personally to alleviate the worldwide refugee problems?

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