Thursday, July 21, 2005

Give Them Asylum

Democratic and civilized countries across the world should be appalled by reports of other governments torturing and executing their gay and lesbian citizens. Just this week, it was reported that two gay teens in Iran were executed for being gay:
Two gay teenagers were publicly executed in Iran on 19 July 2005 for the crime of homosexuality. The youths were hanged in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad, in north east Iran. They were sentenced to death by Court No. 19.

They admitted--probably under torture, London-based gay human rights group Outrage! suggests--to having gay sex but claimed in their defence that most young boys had sex with each other and that they were not aware that homosexuality was punishable by death.

Gay-friendly western countries should have blanket policies that provide asylum for gay refugees without them having to face extended court battles.

If individuals seeking asylum cannot get it even when they face torture or execution if they return to their native country, what is the point of it at all?

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