Tasmanian
Refugee
Legal
Service

TRLS addresses an access-to-justice gap that manifests from the unique circumstances of refugees, asylum seekers & other humanitarian entrants into the Tasmanian community.

Sayed*

The social environment of Australia supports the applicant’s sexual identity, and this resulted in Sayed being able to come out to his friends in Australia as part of the freedom he has to express his true identity.

Sayed was born in small city in Pakistan. He was born into a middle class and strict Muslim-patriarchal family. Since early childhood the applicant was bound to follow Islam strictly. His father was very strict and use to punish him if he would skip prayers or go to any mosque other than the Wahhabi Mosque. The applicant was forced to grow a beard and he has been raised in very restricted environment.

Sayed was made to think that he was a different boy. He was bulled at school. His father use to threaten him that he will be thrown in hell for behaving like girls.

Sayed knew that he had feelings and different kinds of emotions of love for men.

The applicant’s whole family including parents, siblings, uncles, cousins, and aunts are extremely strict followers of Islam and Wahhabism.

Once Sayed arrived in Australia near the start of 2020 on a temporary visa he was able to explore his sexual orientation due to the freedom of Australian laws in line with his own personal development and age and this development of his sexual orientation is consistent with his journey through his adolescent years and now into adulthood.

Sayed was unaware of his rights to refugee protection when he first came to Australia, and it was only after he was able to obtain legal advice from the Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service, that he was aware that he could apply for a protection visa subclass 866 onshore.

Sayed sexual orientation is not a choice, it is innate and part of his identity.

The social environment of Australia supports the applicant’s sexual identity, and this resulted in him being able to engage in same sex relationships and come out to his friends in Australia as part of the freedom he has to express his true identity.

TRLS presented the case to the DHA. TRLS submitted that Sayed had a well-founded fear of persecution on grounds related to his membership of a particular social group and persecution in the applicant’s home country of Pakistan because of his sexual identity as same sex attracted. We submitted that Sayed satisfied the criteria for a Permanent Protection visa under 36(2)(a) of the Act and we submitted that our client satisfied the definition of “refugee” provided under s 5H of the Act and that there is a real chance that the Applicant, if returned to Pakistan, would be persecuted for one or more of the Convention Reasons and that such persecution would involve serious harm to the Applicant, including:

a) threats to her life;
b) assault and sexual violence;
c) psychological violence; and
d) detention/imprisonment

TRLS further submitted that this real chance of persecution extended to all areas of Pakistan and this real chance of persecution involved systematic and discriminatory conduct and effective state-based protection measures are not available to Sayed so as to avoid, prevent or negate this real chance of persecution because the laws in Pakistan against homosexuality would result in Sayed being sentenced to prison.

After a 4-hour hearing the Department granted our client permanent protection. This was a significant result for Sayed. Sayed is now a permanent resident and has been granted permanent protection thanks to the legal work of TRLS.

*Names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the client.

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