Gay Malaysian student given refugee status in Canada after threats
An out gay Malaysian student has been given refugee status in Canada after receiving threats.
Hazim Ismail, who says he is an atheist, was granted leave to stay in Canada by the country’s Immigration and Refugee Board.
He had been attacked due to his sexual orientation back in Malaysia
The University of Winnipeg student will be allowed to remain, as he feared for his life if he had been deported to Malaysia, reports CBC.
“It was overwhelming and I feel really, really, loved and appreciated,” Ismail said.
He said he had considered returning to Malaysia in the past, but that he would be forced to “live undercover”.
Ismail said he was threatened by members of the public and attacked when his sexual orientation gained the attention of local media outlets.
According to reports, his family disowned him and stopped paying his tuition “after learning he is gay and an atheist” last year.
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Local media reported that he was trying to fund his tuition using GoFundMe, attracting attention to his case.
“I’m trying to fight for survival because Malaysia’s not welcoming of homosexuals,” he continued.
The decision by the Board, according to Ismail’s lawyer, means he will not be deported to Malaysia.
“Hazim walked in as a refugee claimant and he is walking out as a protected person,” he said.
The student will now apply for permanent resident status in Canada, which could take around another year.