Ireland: Iranian gay asylum seeker allegedly raped by police officer’s son

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A gay asylum seeker who fled Iran for Ireland having allegedly been raped by a police officer’s son in his former country has won a legal challenge.

The unnamed man originally had his asylum application rejected because officials in Ireland refused to believe he was gay or had been raped in Iran.

The man claims he will be persecuted over his sexuality if he is sent back to Iran – where homosexuality remains illegal.

He alleges the incident started when the policeman’s son, who lived in a neighbouring apartment, invited him to watch a gay porn DVD and attempted to force him to have sex with him.

He initially refused but was blackmailed into engaging in sex when the neighbour threatened to tell his policeman father that he (the victim) had supplied the DVD.

The applicant also claims, while he was being raped, that the neighbour’s father had appeared on the scene and attacked him and had later shown the applicant’s mother a picture of the rape taken on the police officer’s phone.

The man later fled Iran concealed in his uncle’s friend’s car and later a truck.

He arrived in Ireland in June 2007 and applied for asylum but this was rejected at first stage and on appeal.

But yesterday the country’s High Court ordered the Refugee Appeals Tribunal to reconsider the application.

The Irish Times reports Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh saying he found it “particularly difficult to comprehend” how the applicant’s claim to be an unwilling participant in the alleged rape incident could have been undermined by him also saying he knew the alleged rapist and had made suggestive overtures to him in the past.

The tribunal had also mischaracterised evidence from a gay witness who knew the applicant for five years and who had said he was “absolutely convinced” the applicant “is not a straight man”