Klaas Dijkhoff, the Dutch State Secretary for Asylum, does not offer LGBT asylum seekers from Iran enough protection. COC Netherlands poses this in a response to a letter on this issue from the State Secretary to the Dutch Lower House last July. The COC advocates a policy change. In this letter, Klaas Dijkhoff informs the Lower House that he has no intention of changing the policy for asylum seekers from Iran. This means that he will continue to test each individual story of Iranian gay asylum seekers on an individual basis, and is at liberty to extradite them.
According to the COC, the situation for homosexuals in Iran is still so dangerous, that gay asylum seekers should not be sent back.
In a report on Iran, Human Rights Watch writes that LGBTs face a real threat of execution in the country. According to the human rights organisation, at least three Iranians were executed on the grounds of homosexual acts. Three other men were sentenced to death.
A recent country report on Iran by the Dutch government shows that the situation for homosexuals has worsened in recent years. The Iranian authorities are now also active on chat rooms and dating sites in order to prosecute homosexuals.
State Secretary Dijkhoff does not want to offer homosexual asylum seekers optimal protection, as in his opinion, there is no ‘systematic persecution’ in Iran. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and various other human rights organisation have reported more than two years ago that LGBTs are indeed systematically prosecuted in Iran in a letter to the Iranian government. State Secretary Dijkhoff did not include this letter from human rights organisations in his deliberation.
Noticeably, the State Secretary announced in his letter that he will give optimal protection to Christian asylum seekers form Iran, as this group is systematically prosecuted in his opinion.
The COC has been advocating optimal protection for homosexual asylum seekers from Iran for some years. In 2006, this led to the government decision to grant asylum to all homosexuals from Iran. This decision was reversed in 2013. Not because the situation for homosexuals in Iran had improved, but because the legal/technical category for this group was stricken from the law.