Israel Plans to Deport LGBT Asylum Seekers to Rwanda and Uganda

Israel plans to go ahead with deporting LGBT asylum seekers to Rwanda and Uganda, despite those countries having a track record of persecuting and jailing people for their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Population, Immigration and Border Authority told The Jerusalem Post that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender asylum seekers did not count as part of an excluded group of people who would not be deported – such as women and children. “LGBT people are not part of the groups excluded [from deportation],” a Border Authority spokesperson said. “Each case will be examined on its merits.”

The government argues that the migrants have wreaked havoc in south Tel Aviv and that they’re not truly refugees but rather economic migrants. Other cabinet ministers have said that they pose a demographic threat to the country’s Jewish majority.

In Uganda, it’s illegal – “against the law of nature” – to be LGBT, and this may put the deported migrants in harm’s way. In Rwanda, the legal situation is murkier but there are recorded instances of harassment, physical abuse and arbitrary arrests, said Shira Kupfer, adjunct professor and head of a program for LGBT refugees and asylum seekers coordinator by The Aguda – LGBT Task Force.

“If you deport LGBT refugees to one of these countries, you’re putting them at danger to them, to their lives,” Kupfer told the Post. Read more via Jerusalem Post