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Gay Kosovan couple denied asylum in Slovenia

Court decision deemed 'discriminatory and shameful' as same-sex couple is refused despite risk to their lives

Gay Kosovan couple denied asylum in Slovenia

A gay Kosovan couple have had their application for asylum rejected for the second time by Slovenian authorities.

Kadri Shala (37) and Demir Krujezi (31) have been denied international protection after the Ministry of Interior deemed the two men as unreliable and were at no risk of danger in their native country.

The couple first applied for asylum in the Republic of Slovenia in June 2006 after being persecuted for their sexual orientation in their native country.

Due to procedural mistakes in the application process, the pair were rejected and ordered to leave Slovenia immediately. The decision was contested by the two men and charges were brought to the Slovenian Administrative Court and the Supreme Court.

After the court ruled in favour of Shala and Krujezi, the Ministry of Interior were ordered to restart the asylum process, however the case was closed after the couple left to seek help in The Netherlands.

Authorities then deported both men back to Slovenia in November 2009 where they applied for international protection for a second time.

On 29 December 2011 the Slovenian authorities came to a decision and denied the men the right to asylum for a second time as they believed the men were not at risk of being exposed to violence or discrimination if they return to Kosovo.

Dr Tatjana Greif of the Eastern European lesbian group ŠKUC-LL describes the decision as: 'discriminatory and shameful for a democratic state.'

Greif said: 'LGBT people in Kosovo are persecuted by the society, their families and threatened with death (blood-vengeance). It is highly dangerous for their lives if returned back to Kosovo.'

In 2007, a gay Kosovan man was granted asylum in the United States on similar grounds after being subjected to serious abuse and ridicule by members of the public and authorities for his sexuality

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