Sweden: Pakistani court threatens head of LGBT group with life imprisonment over equal marriage support

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The head of an LGBT rights group in Sweden has been threatened with a lawsuit over the organisation’s support for a same-sex marriage involving a Pakistani person.

The head of the Swedish Federation for LGBT Rights (RFSL) Ulrika Westerlund, was threatened with life imprisonment by a Pakistani court, if the organisation does not stop supporting the union.

She told the Local: “I have received a letter, on headed notepaper from someone who says he is a lawyer of the court stating that if our organisation does not desist in supporting the marriage then they will proceed with legal procedures that could result in lifetime imprisonment,

“I have been in contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for advice, but they haven’t got back to me. It is not as if they can act on the threat anyway.”

On Monday, the Local reported that the person in question, a trans man, was the target of a petition placed before the Sindh High Court in Karachi, Pakistan, which called for his prosecution following the marriage he entered with a same-sex partner in 2013, in Sweden.

RFSL has been assisting him in his bid for asylum on the grounds of sexuality, and Westerlund said the threats against the organisation, can only strengthen their case.

“The Migration Board can’t very well turn round and say that they are not threatened after this,” she said.

Oscar Ek at the Migration Board said to the Local that a clear framework is followed in asylum cases involving those motivated by sexuality.

“The law is clear that a homosexual should not be forced to live in secret, as many do in many parts of the world. We aim to achieve the best results possible,” he said.