One in five asylum seekers from Pakistan claimed they were fleeing persecution for being gay – but 70 per cent have their claims rejected, new figures have revealed.
Data published by the Home Office yesterday showed 1,000 people from the Muslim country sought sanctuary here.
But 700 had their claims turned down initially. Only 233 were given refuge in the first instance – although this rose to 440 including successful appeals.
One in five asylum seekers from Pakistan claimed they were fleeing persecution for being gay – but 70 per cent have their claims rejected, new figures have revealed
Homosexuality remains illegal in the south Asian country with some acts punishable by prison but cases are rarely prosecuted. However, discrimination against gays and lesbians is well known.
Figures showed that 6 per cent of all 58,761 asylum claims between July 2015 and May 2017 were on the basis of sexual orientation – some 3,535 cases.
However, more than two-thirds of those claiming to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender were rejected. Of cases with a clear resolution, 2,379 claims were turned away, and just 838 approved.
Nationalities with the highest number of asylum claims based on sexual orientation were Pakistan, Bangladesh (454, or 14 per cent) and Nigeria (362, or 18 per cent).
Only 55 Bangladeshis were let in and 63 Nigerians, who can extreme violence or decades in jail at home for