It is reported that a gay Saudi couple have been detained and treated like criminals after seeking asylum in Australia.
The men allege that while in detention here in Australia they have been subject to threats of violence from other detainees and intimidated by guards.
Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, one of the men said: “We ran away from being detained arbitrarily and gaoled for no reason, only to arrive in Australia and find ourselves in gaol here.”
Australia must do better in providing respect and protection for those who seek our help. We're calling on the Immigration Minister, David Coleman, to immediately grant bridging visas and release these men from custody. They are not criminals, nor are they a threat to society.
We are calling on Immigration Minister, David Coleman, to immediately grant bridging visas to a gay Saudi couple who have sought asylum in Australia.
It is not right that this couple has been detained for several weeks after fleeing Saudi Arabia following political harassment and threats of being publicly outed by authorities.
Saudi Arabia still applies the death penalty to homosexuality and they should not be imprisoned for seeking asylum in Australia.
It is not unlawful to seek asylum in Australia and the couple should be released into the community on bridging visas until their claim can be assessed.
The Morrison Government needs to understand that anti-LGBTI prejudice in some parts of the world is extreme and life threatening.
Corporal and capital punishment still apply in several Islamic nations including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Indonesia, and there is growing hostility and violence against LGBTI people in Russia, Georgia, Chechnya, the Ukraine, Poland and several African nations including Nigeria and Uganda among others.
Australia must be a safe refuge for people fleeing persecution, including anti-LGBTI hated and violence.
This must also include a fair, efficient and unbiased and respectful process for dealing with claims of asylum on the basis of sexuality or gender identity.
It is unacceptable that LGBTI people escaping threats and detention overseas then suffer the same fate in Australia.
All they are asking for is that their claims are taken seriously and that the Australian ethos of a ‘fair go’ is applied to them like everyone else.
Minister Coleman, release these men.