Asylum seeker beaten, doused in petrol and threatened with beheading by his own dad finally told he deserves refuge

The national flag of Ghana, where being LGBT+ is heavily criminalised.

A gay asylum seeker from Ghana who was beaten, doused in petrol and threatened with beheading by homophobic mob led by his own dad has been given reprieve after the US denied him refuge.

The man, who is in his late twenties and originally from Ghana’s capital, Accra, was in a secret relationship with an old school friend in 2016 when his father found out and attacked him with a mob.

He said he was left naked and bleeding after the attack but managed to escape, according to NBC News

Having made his way to the US, he applied for asylum but was rejected by a judge because he had only been attacked once. The initial judge said he should return home and keep his sexuality hidden to prevent being attacked again.

Despite being threatened with beheading, the man’s abuse was not considered ‘significant’ by the US government.

The ruling was recently challenged in an appeals court, with a judge telling the man he deserves refuge from the violence he faces in his home country.

Judge L Felipe Restrepo of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the immigration court should reconsider his claim. He has not yet been granted asylum.

Restrepo wrote in his ruling: “[He] was threatened with death by fire or decapitation while being assaulted, doused with fuel and exposed to a cutlass. All that was left for the mob to do was to cut off his head or set him on fire.”

The man’s lawyer Adrian Roe has asked for his client not to be named as he still risks being deported, although he remains optimistic.

Roe said: “The government was arguing that one [attack] does not create a significant incident, or does not constitute past persecution. And the court said that one incident can be enough.”

Gay sex is illegal in Ghana.

LGBT+ people living in Ghana suffer discrimination and abuse in public and in private, and are still living under colonial-era law which prohibits gay sex.

This week, Muslim leaders in the country used national prayers during coronavirus lockdown to blame the pandemic on “transgender and lesbianism”.