Ruling of ECtHR on return of homosexual asylum seeker to Libya

On 26 June 2014, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rejected a Libyan national’s complaint that his return from Sweden to Libya would expose him to a risk of persecution based on his homosexuality.

Since the fall of Gadhafi’s regime in 2011, there has been a lack of public records of any prosecutions for homosexual acts, punishable by imprisonment under the Libyan Penal Code. The ECtHR therefore held that there is insufficient evidence that “the Libyan authorities actively persecute homosexuals”.

The ECtHR concluded that, based on his decision not to reveal his sexual orientation to his family back in Libya, the applicant has made an “active choice to live discreetly” due to “private considerations” rather than fear of persecution. In the Court’s view, “even if the applicant would have to be discreet about his private life [during the four months in Libya], it would not require him to conceal or suppress an important part of his identity permanently or for any longer period of time”.

More information can be found here.

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