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Syrian LGBT refugees finally arrive in UK in time to celebrate Pride

Lily Wakefield July 5, 2019
Syrian refugees have arrived in time to join in with Pride

The Syrian refugees have arrived in time to join in with Pride in London. (Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty)

Four LGBT+ Syrian refugees have finally been resettled in the UK in time to join the Pride celebrations in London this weekend.

According to The Guardian, the group are the first of 15 LGBT+ refugees finally coming to London after they were accepted onto a resettlement scheme, which is supposed to be faster than the lengthy asylum process, more than two years ago.

During that time, they have been waiting in Turkey where, although being gay is legal, homophobic and transphobic abuse are common and the government ruled that the group were in danger in the country.

Members of the group received death threats and were having to hide in safe houses to avoid violence, the newspaper reported. 

The group took legal action earlier this year against the Home Office, saying they had been abandoned in Turkey by the UK government.

The four refugees are in a “state of joy,” and the 11 others are expected to follow soon.

Syrian refugees have arrived in time to join in with Pride
They will be able to openly express being LGBT+ for the first time. (Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty)

The refugees “will proudly march with Pride for the first time in their lives”

Toufique Hossain and Sheroy Zaq, solicitors who launched the legal action, told The Guardian: “These men have been forced to conceal an enormous part of their identity, not just in their country of origin but also in Turkey.

“The detriment they suffered as a result of their sexuality in Turkey simply could not go on any longer; we had to ensure that their resettlement was expedited through legal channels.

“We are elated that they will at last be able to be open about their sexuality in all walks of life, just in time for Pride.”

The refugees were offered housing by the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and the leader of the council also told the publication: “No one anywhere should ever face death threats because of their sexuality.

“I’m so happy that we have been able to provide safe refuge for these young people and that tomorrow they will proudly march with Pride for the first time in their lives.”

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