6Rang, 24 February 2020: Following media reports on the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ new asylum policy, two Labour members of the Dutch House of Representatives have posed a set of questions on the Dutch government’s official report about Iranian LGBTI asylum seekers, in particular, the misrepresentation and incorrect application of 6Rang research reports.
The new policy, adopted last year, excludes Iranian transgender people from special protection groups and lesbian, gay and bisexual people now have to prove that they fear persecution because of their sexual orientation, whereas previously they were almost always granted asylum based on their nature.
Because the policy cited 6Rang’s research reports, the organisation sent a letter to Dutch officials earlier this month calling for the reinstatement of the previous policy, which categorised Iranian LGBTI asylum seekers as a ‘special attention group’. Furthermore, 6Rang claims Dutch officials have left out important information. The letter reads, “we have noticed that the report selectively chose some data while putting aside others in a way that implies the Iranian LGBT do not suffer from systemic and systematic discrimination and violation in all levels, or gives an interpretation that is neither meant by us nor reflects the reality of the lives of Iranian LGBT individuals and their community,”.
Attje Kuiken and Kirsten van den Hul, members of the Dutch House of Representatives, have submitted three questions to the Dutch Secretary for Justice and Security and the Minister of Foreign Affairs about whether they are aware of 6Rang’s concerns. The two members of the Dutch Labour Party also requested information on whether the government has conducted any new assessment in light of these revelations. The authorities have three weeks to reply to their questions.
COC Nederland, a Dutch LGBT NGO, have also been critical of the 2019 official statement. They are advocating a thorough review of the policy on the grounds that the human rights situation of the LGBTI community in Iran has deteriorated.
Category: Shadi Amin