Home Office admits LGBT refugees sent to Rwanda could face sexual persecution

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The Home Office has admitted that LGB refugees who are deported to Rwanda could be persecuted on the basis of their sexual orientation – but it plans to send them there anyway.

The department’s equality impact assessment for the policy, published on Monday night, states that there are “concerns” over the treatment of some LGBTQI+ people in the east African country, and that investigations point to “ill treatment” of this group being “more than one off”.

A separate document, also published on Monday, admits that there is a “lack of reporting of crimes” against LGBTIQ+ people there, “due to stigma and fear of harassment”, resulting in “limited information on how police respond to and protect” this group.

The report, which outlines the Home Office’s country guidance for Rwanda, goes on to state: “LGBTIQ+ persons have also reported some societal discrimination and abuse, including discrimination in employment, eviction, ostracism from family and threats of violence.”

In spite of this, the department still plans to include gay, lesbian and bi-sexual refugees among those sent to Rwanda, stating that “monitoring arrangements will be in place” and that the government will “take into account further evidence over the course of the partnership”.

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