UK rejects 70% of asylum claims from gay people facing persecution

The government refuses nearly 70% of all asylum claims from people who cite sexual orientation as a reason, including those from countries where being gay can be punishable by death.

According to Home Office figures released for the first time, there were a total of 3,535 claims where being gay was given as a reason or part of the basis for seeking asylum into the UK. This figure amounts to roughly 6% of the total 58, 761 asylum claims made between 1 July 2015 and 31 March 2017.

Of the 3,535 asylum seekers claiming to be fleeing their country of origin due to facing persecution because of their sexual orientation, more than two-thirds (2,379) were rejected.

The figures show 20% of the 1,000 asylum claims from people from Pakistan gave being gay or bisexual as a reason, the highest figure of all the nationalities. Of the 1,000 claims, only 233 were granted asylum in the first instance, with 700 initially refused.

The government stressed that the statistics are "experimental" and should be examined with caution. The Home Office said the figures do not show whether sexual orientation was the sole basis for the asylum claim, when sexual orientation was raised in the claim or if it had any bearing on the outcome. Read more via IB Times