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Don't deport me back to Nigeria because I'm gay

A GAY Nigerian man who claims he will be persecuted over his sexuality if he is returned home will find out later this year whether a High Court challenge to a refusal to grant him asylum is successful.

Judge Sean Ryan reserved judgment on judicial review proceedings brought by the man who was deported last year after his asylum application was turned down.

The judgment is not expected before October.



Concealment

The man, who arrived her in 2006 as an unaccompanied minor, claims in the High Court proceedings that a refusal by the Justice Minister to revoke the deportation order took place without regard to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees guidelines which say that where a State which condones concealment of sexual orientation, this may amount to persecution.

In his proceedings against the minister, it is claimed the minister refused to revoke the deportation order on the basis that if he practised discretion about his sexuality in Nigeria, he would not be persecuted.

The man claims he left Nigeria after he was assaulted and threatened when his homosexuality was discovered.

He applied for asylum here and in December 2006, the Refugee Applications Commissioner refused refugee status, saying that gay people who hide their homosexuality in Nigeria could relocate within the country without facing persecution.

He unsuccessfully appealed this decision to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal and in 2009, applied to the minister for subsidiary protection and later for leave to remain.



Practise

Both applications were rejected with the minister stating in a letter in February, 2009 that "if Nigerian homosexuals practise discretion, they are not likely to run foul of the law".

The man was deported in October 2009 but his lawyers got leave from the High Court to challenge the deportation.

hnews@herald.ie


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