Iranian LGBT asylum-seekers taking refuge in Turkey joined in the March against Homophobia and Transphobia organized for the fourth time this year by Kaos GL, raising their voices with slogans, "Ahmadinejad! We're right here!"
A pioneering event also took place during the March against Homophobia and Transphobia, organized this year for the fourth time by Kaos GL. Iranian LGBT refugees finding asylum in Turkey also joined the march, voicing their slogans, "Ahmadinejad! We are here!"
Iranian LGBT asylum-seekers also took their part in the March against Homophobia and Transphobia on 22nd of May in Ankara, the Capital City. Kaos GL and IRQR organized a service shuttle from Kayseri to facilitate their participation in the March.
"Ahmadinejad, we're here!"
Joining in with rainbow flags, Iranian LGBT asylum-seekers also carried the Old Iranian flag during the March. They attached the Old Iranian flag to the rainbow flags they were carrying during the March, raising their voices with slogans like "Ahmadinejad, we're here!", "Iranian queers will not keep silent anymore!" and "Iranian queers, we're altogether now!"
"This is a first, we will carry on!"
LGBT asylum seekers expressed their happiness in joining the March and stated that they regard it as their duty to participate in the March against Homophobia and Transphobia. Acknowledging the support provided by Kaos GL, the asylum-seekers said that this was a first step and they wanted to carry on altogether.
Iranian LGBTs also in Regional Network
The "Regional Network against Homophobia" initiative organized on 20th of May in Ankara with the participation of individuals against homophobia from Caucasus, the Middle East and Balkans within the scope of the International Meeting against Homophobia enjoyed also the participation of Iranian LGBTs.
Arsham Parsi from IRQR Canada said at his speech in the Regional Network Meeting: "I participated in the March when I was in Turkey in 2005. Then, I dreamed of Iranian LGBT asylum-seekers joining in the March one day. This year, in 2011, this dream comes true and Iranian LGBT asylum-seekers also join in the March against Homophobia and Transphobia."
LGBT Asylum-Seekers Shared Problems at "Refugee Workshop"
LGBT asylum-seekers participated in the "Refugee Workshop" on 12th of May 2011 organized jointly by Kaos GL and Amnesty International Turkey.
The other participants of the Workshop included representatives of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, Human Rights Joint Platform, Positive Living Association, Multeci-Der (Refugees' Association, Human Rights Association, Human Resource Development Foundation and Human Rights Agenda Association. Mazlum-Der (Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People) and Human Rights Research Association were also invited, yet did not participate in the workshop.
Held on 12th of May 2011, the workshop gathered together LGBT asylum-seekers and relevant Non-Governmental Organizations on the same platform for the first time.
"Alienation comes not only from the public, but also other asylum-seekers"
LGBT asylum-seekers listed their problems at the workshop:
"We cannot find a job and even if we do, we cannot get our fees. Access to healthcare is really difficult; we cannot get any medicine but they do give away the drugs once they've expired. Lack of a command of the language is a rather serious problem. We are alienated not only by the public, but also by other asylum-seekers. Trans-gender asylum-seekers are exposed to severe incidents of physical violence and harassment both at their workplaces and on the street. The conditions of the satellite towns we've been sent to are really poor. I cannot tell my real reason for asylum; I say it's on political grounds. UNHCR does not accept bisexuals".
In the second part of the Workshop, the "Draft Law on Foreigners and International Protection" was addressed from the perspective of LGBT asylum-seekers.
The Workshop was concluded with a decision for the preparation of a report on whether the Draft Law on Foreigners and International Protection provides sufficient guarantees for the rights of LGBT asylum-seekers and the submission of this report with the signatures of the non-governmental organizations participating in the Workshop to the Ministry of Interior. The Government removed the term "sexual orientation" from the Draft Law.
Translated from Turkish by Gökçe Katkıcı
Related News: antihomofobi.org »
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Published on May 27, 2011 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization