Austria has denied asylum to an Iraqi man because he is too ‘girlish’ to be believably gay.
Austrian asylum officials requested the asylum request partially because the man’s supposedly feminine characteristics were deemed ‘unbelievable’.
The man was said to have displayed ‘stereotypical, in any case excessive ‘girlish’ behavior (expressions, gestures)’ which asylum officials believed were fake, Austrian newspaper Kurier reported.
The asylum seeker, who is believed to be active in LGBTI groups, fled Iraq in 2015 out of fear of his life.
In 2015, large swathes of Iraq were under the control of Islamic State militants.
The man will be able to appeal this decision.
This comes days after Amnesty International described the country’s asylum process as ‘dubious’.
Austrian authorities hit back at the claim and said their asylum officials were working effectively, the BBC reported.
A spokesperson for Austria’s asylum office denied that the decision contained ‘cliched phrasing’ by officials.
Follows two similar cases
This follows similar high-profile cases of Austria rejecting two asylum requests after officials questioned the applicants’ sexuality based on their behavior or knowledge of LGBTI culture.
Last week, it was reported that the country had rejected a gay Afghan teenager‘s request for asylum after Austrian officials said he was ‘too aggressive’ to be homosexual.
The teenager had allegedly instigated fights with other people in his accommodation, and therefore had a ‘potential for aggression’. Austrian officials ruled that this form of aggression ‘wouldn’t be expected from a homosexual’.
Prior to this, an Iranian teenager was also denied asylum in Austria because he was unable to explain what the colors on the LGBTI Pride flag symbolize.
Originally from Iran and fearing his sexuality put his life at risk, the teen fled to Austrian where he has resided since 2014. However, he was application was rejected because he did not know what each color on the LGBTI Pride rainbow flag represented.
Following this, Austrian LGBTI group Queer Base supported the teen through his application process. He was later successful in his asylum bid.