Netherlands: Muslim gays abused in asylum centers

Netherlands: Muslim gays abused in asylum centers

Secret Garden, an organization of Muslim gays and lesbians, says they've received 158 complaints in the past 18 months from gay asylum seekers who have been abused in asylum centers in the Netherlands.

"We live together with asylum seekers of the same origin"

"Somalis, Arabs, Iraqis, Iranians, who don't accept our homosexuality"

"I get cursed by them.. with quotes from the Koran"

Secret Garden published interviews with several asylum-seekers (PDF, NL) waiting in asylum centers in the Netherlands:

Iyas (27), Palestinian, 5 years in asylum centers: I feel free here. The Netherlands is a dream country for me. At least, as long as Arab immigrants don't meddle with me. In the asylum center I feel very isolated. People from Somalia spit on me, call me the devil. I've been attacked on the street and seriously abused by one of the other residents. I've even lodged a complain about it. The COA says 'there are rules, but we can't change the opinions of these people'.

Mario (40), Georgian, 11 years in asylum centers: The people in the asylum center don't accept me. I can't go to the bathroom quietly. They are afraid when I want to talk to them. It pains me a lot that I'm discriminated.

Ahmed (28), Iraqi, currently in appeal after his asylum request was rejected: In the asylum center there were so many Iraqis, that I was afraid to say why I was here. So I kept my mouth shut. I wasn't able to trust people anymore. After a while, I got the courage to tell my real story. That was a very difficult moment, but I feel better now.

Ammar (43), Iraqi: In our view Europe is a safe place. But once in the asylum center, I was disappointed. We were cursed by other residents, spit on in our faces, they called us devils. But when they wanted to gratify their sexual needs, they looked us up.

Abdullah (24), Palestinian: Yes, freedom, I didn't feel much of it yet. Three times already, Muslims tried to kill me in the asylum center. They come into the shower with a knife. Or they say: suck my dick.. I stay as much as possible in my room.