The UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) have expressed their misgivings over a recent newspaper article slamming the UK’s border control policies. The article which appeared last weekend in the Independent on Sunday was headlined: “Virtually All Gay Asylum Seekers Sent Back to Persecution”. UKLGIG say that the article created a false impression of the fate of LGBT asylum seekers in the UK.
UKLGIG said that such stories damaged the credibility of organisations, including their own, that sought to help LGBT asylum seekers. They also added that stories like this created a climate of fear among those presently going through the process of claiming asylum and those considering it.
A UKLGIG spokesperson told DIVA magazine: “In April 2010 UKLGIG released a report entitled Failing the Grade which stated that between 2005 and 2009, 98 per cent of lesbians and gay men claiming asylum on the basis of their sexual identity were refused by the Home Office at their initial interview. Fortunately for LGBT asylum seekers, the justice system in the UK allows for a number of further steps in the process before all avenues have been explored, and these steps ensure that many of these alylum seekers are, in fact, granted asylum by the courts.”
The Independent on Sunday said they “strongly refute any suggestion that we were sensationalising [these issues]”. They added: “We simply reported exclusively a report by Stonewall.”