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UK Offers Gay Syrian £46 to Get Lost, Go Home

The UK Border Agency has reportedly offered a gay teen Syrian seeking asylum in Scotland less than $100 (£46) to get him to accept deportation and return to Syria, the Scotsman reports:

Syria"Jojo Jako Yakob, 19, fled his homeland two years ago after being arrested, shot and beaten before being tortured in a Syrian jail when he was caught distributing anti-government leaflets. Once prison guards discovered that Yakob, a Christian member of the repressed Kurdish minority in the Arab state, was homosexual, he suffered horrific beatings and was assaulted so badly that he slipped into a coma. He fled to Scotland but his application seeking asylum was rejected and the Home Office has ordered his return to Syria, where homosexuality has been banned. Last night, 'Save Jojo' campaigners criticised the UK Border Agency for sending Yakob, who is currently being detained at Polmont Young Offenders Institution in Falkirk, a 'weekly' letter, asking his permission to be 'repatriated' back to Syria. A spokesman for the campaign said the agency has offered Jojo £46 'in cash' on leaving the United Kingdom 'to assist you in reintegrating into your home country. This could be used for example to set up a business, further your education or assist with housing'. Leading gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell labelled the UK Border Agency as 'immoral' in its attempt to get Jojo into accepting deportation. He said: 'This insulting offer shows the scurrilous, immoral nature of the UK Border Agency. The sum of £46 would barely pay one week's rent, never mind help Jojo start a new life. The idea that he should risk his life and go back to Syria for £46 is an absolute disgrace. It shows the depth to which the Labour Government is sinking in its desperate bid to pander to racist and xenophobic opinion.'"

Yakob's case is similar to that of Iranian teen Mehdi Kazemi, who was granted a temporary reprieve from deportation when public outcry in late March brought attention to his case.

Government offers Jojo £46 to go home [scotsman]

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Comments

  1. If David Cameron doesn't wipe the floor with Labour next year, the conservatives should just disband and join other families. This Labour government has remained on the shelf long pass its expiration date.

    Posted by: John | Apr 28, 2008 11:15:54 AM


  2. Have a look at the comments made by the public on the website of the New Scotsman: most of them are very negative and insulting towards gay people. The people who think that way and write this stuff put themselves on the same level as the Syrians who beat Yakob up.

    Posted by: Stef | Apr 28, 2008 12:27:54 PM


  3. Last week the "Washington Blade" reported that the creator of Equality Forum "called on Sens. Clinton, McCain, and Obama to encourage British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to halt the deportation of gay Iranian refugees living in Britain."

    McCain: no response

    Obama: campaign issued statement saying he supported the idea and said an Obama administration would set example, etc. "Ben LaBolt, an Obama campaign spokesperson, would not say whether Obama planned to write to Brown on the issue, as Equality Forum requested."

    Clinton: "Lee Feinstein, the Clinton campaign’s national security director, said Tuesday that it was tracking the case of Mehdi Kazemi, a 19-year-old gay man living in Britain who faces execution if returned to Iran. 'The campaign has discussed this issue with the U.K. government', he said. 'We were encouraged to learn that the deportation order for Mr. Kazemi has been deferred and is now under review'.”

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Apr 28, 2008 12:59:29 PM


  4. STEVE FROM BOSTON,

    Based on our discussion last Friday,
    I know what you're thinking after reading this horror story about the behavior of the Syrian authorities. Yes, and I respect what you're thinking.

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | Apr 28, 2008 1:37:44 PM


  5. Yakob could face more than violent discrimination. The Syrian Baathists don’t lynch as many of us as the Iranians or hunt us down and murder us like the US/English backed death squads in Iraq, but they do torture and murder opponents and people who ‘embarrass' them. As the Scotsman reported “… a spokesman for the Syrian Embassy responded by describing homosexuality as a ‘disease’, which the country sought to ‘treat’.”

    The English government is applying a ‘fast track’ approach to deport the many asylum seekers held in their ‘detention’ camps in less than humane conditions. The detainees recently held a hunger strike and refused to return to their cells to protest the callous and unjust English deportation proceedings. For many of them, their fate will be the same as that suffered by many European Jews fleeing Nazi Germany.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gayasylum/message/727

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/apr/12/immigration.publicservices

    If the Labour Party falls to the Conservatives it’ll be because they, like the Democrats here, are in the business of placating bigots, racists and islamophobes. It is no coincidence that both the Democrats and the English Labour Party support the oil piracy in Iraq, pass out weapons to jihadist deaths squads who hunt down and murder GLBT folk, threaten Iran with nuclear attack and support the zionist apartheid inflicted on the people of Palestine.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue, RainbowRED | Apr 28, 2008 6:42:04 PM


  6. They have a problem with allowing gay Iranian refugees in the UK, but they'll allow just about any lowlife terrorist in. Ditto for the millions of Poles and Eastern Europeans who are everywhere. Heck, they'll even allow them public funds AND, get this, they'll send public funds BCAK to their offspring IN POLAND!! But they won't let in one gay guy who faces execution.

    Posted by: Bill | Apr 29, 2008 7:15:15 AM


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