Austria rejects ′fake′ gay asylum claim, this time he′s too ′girlish′ | News | DW | 24.08.2018
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Austria rejects 'fake' gay asylum claim, this time he's too 'girlish'

Another asylum-seeker in Austria saw his application rejected over doubts about his sexual orientation. It's a process rights groups called "dubious" and indicative of structural problems processing asylum claims.

A homosexual Iraqi migrant saw his application for asylum in Austria rejected because he acted too "girlish" in his assessment interview, local media reported.

The young man had told the officials in Austria's Styria state that he could not return to his native Iraq as he was gay.

But the officials felt that the 27-year-old's claims about his sexual orientation could not be believed because he displayed a "stereotypical, in any case excessive 'girlish' behavior (expressions, gestures)," which seemed fake, Austria's Kurier newspaper reported.

"It's not the first time and by the looks of it, it's not going to change soon. Austria's right-wing government has no incentive to do something about it. More the opposite, they try to look for any opportunity how to strip refugees of their right for asylum," Anna Szut of Homosexuelle Initiative in Vienna told DW. 

"It's also common knowledge that the entire asylum procedure including the BFA (Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum)-officials is highly discriminatory, not only on terms of sexual orientation."

The case comes just days after a young Afghan was denied asylum in the country because he did not "act" or "dress" like a homosexual.

'Structural problem'

Rights group Amnesty International said earlier this week that it saw a "structural problem" in how Austria assessed asylum claims. It described the country's asylum processes as "dubious."

"We demand from the responsible ministry, the Ministry of the Interior, a better quality control for asylum procedures in a timely manner. This includes that issued decisions must be evaluated regularly and, if necessary, revoked by the authority itself," Amnesty's Martina Powell told DW on Friday.

"Civil servants and translators must receive ongoing training in dealing with people in particular need of protection," Powell added. "A multi-eye principle must be strictly adhered to in order to minimize the risk of wrong decisions."

Interior Ministry spokesman Christoph Pölzl rejected Amnesty's accusations, saying that all officials who assess asylum claims receive training.

However, he added that the official involved in the Afghan asylum-seeker's case was no longer involved in assessing asylum applications.

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