Dutch government officials announced this week that the Netherlands will be opening its doors to gay asylum seekers, based on the increasingly dangerous circumstances that LGBT Iraqis are facing at home.
This also raises the question of how will these Iraqis prove to be LGBT?
More after the jump.
Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports:
"Mr Leers had already announced a temporary halt to the deportation of gay Iraqis last month following an alert from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry warned that it was impossible to be openly gay anywhere in Iraq without being at serious risk. The Iraqi authorities also fail to take any measures to stop discrimination or attacks on homosexuals.
Koen van Dijk of the Dutch gay rights organisation COC described the announcement as an important victory for Iraqis who had fled the country because of their sexual orientation. According to van Dijk, Iraq is the most dangerous country in the world for gay people: 'Research has shown that 750 people have been murdered for this reason since 2003. There are systematic campaigns. Organised militias publicly declare that they’re hunting down people who exhibit ‘deviant’ behaviour and should be killed according to Islamic law.'"
Now about that whole "prove that you're gay" thing...
Proving to be gay could be "problematic." As Care2 points out, "EU immigration authorities have found it difficult to establish what truly constitutes proof of being gay without relying on lazy stereotypes."
Koen van Dijik acknowledges the problem, noting, “People will have to prove something they’ve taught themselves to disguise out of fear for their entire life. It will be a very tricky situation and the immigration officials carrying out the interviews will need special training.”
(Is anyone else thinking there's a porn-version of these "immigration interview sessions" just waiting to happen??...No?...Just us?...Kay...)
In all seriousness though, many thanks to the Dutch government for their efforts. They're saving lives.