UK: Syrian Jojo Jako Yakob, Gay Asylum Seeker, Will Be Thrown Out of UK

Gay asylum seeker to be thrown out of UK

06 July 2008 – By Kurt Bayer, Scotland on Sunday

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.”

Full article

See also: UK: Jojo Jako Yakob, Syrian Teenager Claims Gay Asylum After a Long Cycle of Torture and Humiliation


  1. James P

    He’s too cute to be sent back to a medieval society. I hope we can keep track of him and maybe give him some protection by being well known. If something does happen to him, it will be on Scotland’s back.

  2. Omar Kuddus

    1. ON the 25th of June 2008 British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, said:
    ‘In the 21st century, no one should ever feel under threat of verbal or physical violence just because of their sexual orientation.’
    She echoed the sentiments of the United Nations High Commissioner Louise Arbour made in November 2007 who said in her statement; “Just as it would be unthinkable to exclude some from protection on the bases of race, religion or social status, so too must we reject any attempt to do the same on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
    Ms Smith and the Home office should realise that to have any meaning these words MUST reflect and apply to everyone, not only those born in the free west.
    How many times does this government have to be shamed by the word to act responsibly and do the right thing and accept that being who we are and how we are is a part of our natural selves and why should descression come into our normal daily lives.
    She and her office don’t expect heterosexuals to behave other than how they are so why should gay asylum seekers be any different. The ruling by the Asylum Immigration Tribunal, sitting in Glasgow, stated: “Syria criminalises and represses homosexuality. Homosexuals have to modify their behaviour and lifestyle accordingly”
    Is that not enough or does the world have to be make itself heard every time the home office uses the same ‘old line of discretion.
    If NO ONE should ever feel under treat of violence,
    Britain and herself must take the stand as other European nations have done that homosexuals fleeing persecution, torture and execution should be grated asylum, Carte Blanche, and not have to prove their personal “threat of verbal or physical violence just because of their sexual orientation.

  3. Aziz

    Hello folks,

    I write to say that I feel what Yakob feel, and I know how his suffering is. It will be very hard for him to be deported to his native land – Syria. According to me, it is very insensitive and cruel to suggest him to live in Syria while keeping his sexual orientation status under wraps in his daily life there. Human right of every individual must be upheld. He has the right to live by expressing his sexual orientation without having to face intimidation, insult, threats, and other kinds of persecution from state or non-state actors. He will not be able to find this right in Syria therefore to send him back to Syria is contrary to human right.

    Everyone must believe that gay is an innate and unchangeable characteristic of somebody, and is very fundamental for him. Therefore to ask somebody to mask his sexual orientation identity constitutes a persecution because that is not the normal way to live.

    I hope there is someone or institutions there that could help him to influence the Home Office’s ruling in UK to prevent him from deportation if not his future will be gloomy in Syria.

    Anyway, does anyone here know his email???…


  4. Mark

    This system is flawed, as it fails to take into account those forced into living in the closet. He would be questioned if he came out, and people who knew his sexuality were capable enough of blackmailing him. It will be good for him to live in a society that accepts him the way he is.”

    The punishment for giving in to personal feelings might well be nothing less than torture. This is clearly a form of discrimination and a serious breach of his human rights. It must now be clear to the Home Office that it is wrong to send back gay and lesbian people to any other country where all the evidence shows they will be persecuted

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