Monday, January 25, 2016


THE city of Berlin is opening a shelter for LGBTIQ asylum seekers who face verbal and physical attack from homophobic refugees at other shelters.

Between 100 and 120 gay, lesbian and transgender refugees will be given accommodations at the shelter, the location of which is being kept a secret for now pending signing of a lease and to avert protests from neighboring property owners.

Berlin has an estimated 3,500 GLBT refugees, according to Marcel de Groot of the Berlin Gay Counseling Center. 

"We are convinced that this shelter is vitally needed," he says. 

Currently, identifiably gay refugees are housed in a refugee center for people such as single mothers who have special needs and who should not be grouped together in dormitories with men.

Gay groups have registered complaints from GLBT refugees of verbal and physical abuse not only from other refugees, but also from security personnel and interpreters at the shelters.

Germany has taken in more refugees than any other European country since the mass exodus of people fleeing war-torn Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries began.

More than a million refugees flooded into Germany in 2015.

Berlin is the first city to designate a shelter for gays only, but other regions are expected to follow.

Gay university students in Leipzig announced plans last week to provide shelter to GLBT refugees. Leipzig is a city where Nazi thugs have staged weekly torchlight processions to protest against the influx of "swarthy swine" as they call refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and other war-torn regions.

Spearheading the campaign is Leipzig University journalism student Tarek Hassan.

The Queer Refugees Network in Leipzig aims to provide support for gay and trans refugees who suffer abuse at the hands of other asylum seekers at refugee centers in Germany.

In some cases, refugees whose sexuality is not demonstrably straight are attacked, sexually groped and physically abused by homophobic refugees.

"The refugee center staff are ill prepared for these situations and often play down their significance, which only makes matters worse," says Tarek.

The Queer Refugees Network helps raise the consciousness of center staffers to the problems, and also helps to find off-site housing for gay refugees.

"But our first objective is to offer an ear and a shoulder to cry on for LGBTIQ refugees who find themselves in a strange land," Tarek explains.

Germany has had an influx of one million refugees from war-torn Syria and the Mideast over the past 12 months and an undetermined number of those refugees are LGBTIQ asylum seekers fleeing persecution and death in their homelands.

Organizations in Germany have ISSUED AN APPEAL for Germans to open their homes to gay Syrian refugees who face discrimination from other refugees ... and death threats from radical Islamic militants.

Gay Syrians arriving at refugee camps in Germany say they have been subjected to verbal and even physical attacks from other refugees during the long trek from their war-torn homeland.

While the news cameras focus on families with small children, most of the refugees are in fact young adult males ... and between 5 and 10 per cent are gay or bisexual, according to German LGBT groups reaching out to gay refugees.

In Syria, they faced the threat of death by DAESH Islamic State barbarians who have executed scores of gay men ... throwing them from tall buildings and stoning them to death if they survive the fall.

But even after they arrive safely in Germany, gays and lesbians are the victims of homophobia, according to German LGBT groups.

German television reports that DAESH militants have infiltrated some refugee camps.

"They shout Koran verses all night and scream that they will kill anyone who stands in their way," a Syrian refugee told ARD television. "A friend of mine was beheaded in Syria, so I am scared out of my wits."

Even less militant refugees are hostile towards LGBT refugees in their midst.

"Right now we are handling the case of a man who is in a refugee camp in Magdeburg in eastern Germany who says he fears for his life," says Mathias Fangohr, head of the Magdeburg Pride Organization.

"He is terrified that if other camp residents find out he is gay he will end up dead," Fangohr says. 

"He is totally traumatized from the ordeal he has gone through and is desperate for help," he adds.

The situation is compounded by the fact that many of the support groups are homophobic.

"We have trouble finding Arabic interpreters because many of them refuse to interpret for gays, whom they consider to be filth," he adds. "They won't even mention the word for homosexual in Arabic because it is dirty."

A Berlin group has issued an appeal for gays in the German capital to open their homes to LGBT refugees so that they can avoid homophobic taunts and humiliation at refugee camps.

The group has also launched a program for teaching LGBT refugees language skills and job skills to help them get on their feet in Germany.

With a falling birth rate and declining population, Germany has welcomed the refugees not only on humanitarian grounds ... but also as a boost to immigration.

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