UK: Syrian Jojo Jako Yakob, Gay Asylum Seeker, Will Be Thrown Out of UK
A gay asylum seeker has been refused permission to stay in Scotland and told he is likely to be safe in his homophobic homeland provided he behaves “discreetly”.
Scotland on Sunday revealed earlier this year that Syrian Jojo Jako Yakob was battling to stay here after suffering horrific abuse because of his sexuality and political activities.
It has now emerged that an immigration tribunal has turned down his request to stay in the UK, despite accepting that Yakob is gay and that Syria criminalises and represses homosexuality.
In a judgment that has appalled gay rights campaigners, the tribunal suggests Yakob is unlikely to come to any harm so long as he keeps his sexuality under wraps.
Lawyers for the 20-year-old are planning a last-ditch court bid to stop him being deported. Campaigners said they were in no doubt Yakob’s life would once again be placed in serious danger.
Yakob, a Christian member of the repressed Kurdish minority in the Arab state, fled to the UK two years ago after being arrested, shot and beaten. He left his home country after surviving a harrowing ordeal at the hands of Syrian police and prison guards. He had been arrested for distributing anti-government leaflets.
When prison guards discovered he was homosexual he suffered horrific beatings and was assaulted so badly that he fell into a coma.
Despite his attempts to start a new life in Scotland, the Home Office ordered his deportation in March and, last week, his appeal against the decision was denied.
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said the refusal was “irrational, ill-informed and insensitive”.
He added: “This young man’s life will be in danger if he is deported. It’s outrageous that our Government is showing such a callous disregard for human rights.
“The Government is fast losing its gay-friendly credentials by its heartless, cruel and vindictive mistreatment of gay asylum seekers.”