Once again, 6Rang in collaboration with OutRight International has consulted the Dutch government to reassess its asylum policy and protection status given to Iranian LGBTI asylum seekers.
Both our organisations remain deeply concerned about the recent change in the policy of the Netherlands regarding Iranian LGBTI asylum seekers. Based on a 2019 official report, the Netherlands discontinued its policy of affording Iranian LGBTI asylum seekers the highest protection status. In our open letter dated 11 February 2020 and addressed to the Dutch government, we criticised the official report and its assessment of the LGBTI rights’ situation in Iran and requested a reversal of this change in policy. We highlighted that in contrast to the official report, LGBTI Iranians continue to face systemic and systematic persecution, discrimination and violence at all levels. Through our extensive background and work with LGBTI Iranians, we provided a thorough overview of the lived experiences of LGBTI Iranians and the ways in which they continue to face multiple, intersecting forms of discrimination and violence.
However, in its response, the Dutch government refused to reverse this policy persisting that the LGBTI rights’ situation in Iran has improved.
In our second letter, emphasising the discrepancy between official sources and the known experiences of LGBTI people, we detailed that LGBTI Iranians face violations of not only their right to freedom from violence and discrimination, but also freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, freedom of expression and association, and access to justice as well as healthcare and education.
Further, we noted that although publicly it seems the Iranian government has not prosecuted individuals explicitly using the Penal Code provisions or the laws regulating speech, in reality, it is widely known that LGBTI individuals in Iran have been and continue to be prosecuted and imprisoned based on their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.
Furthermore, we expressed particular concern about the continued framing by some global actors and news outlets of transgender people as widely accepted following Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1986 religious decree accepting forms of transition-related healthcare for the Iranian trans community. We also expressed concerns over the government report’s framing of the information we provided and the way in which some of our sources were not considered or accurately reflected.
Once again, we jointly urged the Dutch government to reconsider its position regarding Iranian LGBTI asylum seekers and afford them the highest level of protection under the Dutch law. This will prevent many tragic consequences for Iranian LGBI as well as transgender individuals.
Read the full joint letter here:
Category: Press Release