Denmark - Refugee Appeals Board’s decision of 6 March 2018

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
06-03-2018
Court Name:
The Refugee Appeals Board
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
Denmark - The Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (1)
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Headnote: 

The applicant, an ethnic Kurd and Sunni Muslim from Kirkuk, Iraq, became aware of his sexual orientation when he was 20/22 years of age and has since had relations with several men and during a longer period worked as a prostitute.

The Refugee Appeals Board accepted the applicants account and found that the applicant as a Kurd from Northern Iraq, according to country of origin information, would risk persecution if he was to return to Iraq and live openly as a homosexual. Consequently, the applicant was granted refugee status under the Danish Aliens Act art. 7 (1).

Facts: 

The applicant, born in 1970, is an ethnic Kurd and Sunni Muslim from Kirkuk, Iraq. He entered Denmark in December 2015 and applied for refugee status. He stated that he feared if he returned to Iraq he would be killed by the Iraqi authorities or his family as he was homosexual.

In support of his application the applicant explained that he became aware of his sexual orientation when he was 20/22 years of age but in Iraq he could not practice his sexual orientation openly. When 12 years old he began to take interest in womenswear. His first sexual relation with a man took place in the beginning of the 1990s. Since then he has had relations with several men often older than the applicant and during a longer period worked as a prostitute. After his arrival in Denmark the applicant has felt more free to practice his homosexuality. The applicant feels more like a woman but has been reluctant to talk about his gender identity.

The Danish Immigration Service rejected the asylum application in March 2017.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The account of the applicant has been established by the Refugee Appeals Board.

The Board emphasised that the applicant during his stay in Denmark has been in contact on a regular basis with LGBT Asylum which in statements of 3 January 2016 and 7 February 2017 has informed about the applicant’s activities including his participation in Aarhus Pride and Copenhagen Pride. Further, the Board emphasised a statement from the Danish Red Cross that the applicant due to harassment was transferred to the women’s department of the Asylum Centre in Jelling.  The Board accepted that the applicant had sexual relations with a man in Denmark and not would be able to live in an open homosexual relationship in Iraq.

Referring to country of origin information the Board found that the applicant, a Kurd from Northern Iraq would be in risk of persecution as per the Danish Aliens Act art. 7 (1) if he returned to Iraq and lived openly as a homosexual. Consequently, the applicant was granted refugee status under the Danish Aliens Act art. 7 (1).

Outcome: 

The applicant was granted refugee status under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (1) 

Other sources cited: 

The Refugee Appeals Board emphasised statements from the Danish organisations LGBT Asylum and Red Cross Asylum.