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Would-be refugee’s gay claims ‘not credible’


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An Iranian illegal immigrant who faked a homosexual relationship and claimed he had torn up the Koran and become a Jehovah’s Witness has had his application for asylum rejected in Federal Court.

The man, known in court documents as “CVS16”, came to Australia by boat in May 2013. He was granted a bridging visa in March 2014, but the visa was revoked four months later when he was charged, and later convicted, with one count of reckless wounding.

In September 2015, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton invited the man to apply for a protection visa, and in February last year, following an earlier incomplete application and interview with a departmental dele­gate, he applied.

In a statement attached to his application, he claimed to “fear persecution on the basis of his membership of the particular social group comprising homosexuals, and his conversion in 2013 to Christianity and adherance to the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith”.

The man’s application was rejected by the department in July. Mr Dutton then referred the case to the Immigration Assessment Authority to be reviewed, as mandated under the Migration Act.

The authority comprehensively upheld the department’s decision, finding that although the man had attended some Jehovah’s Witnesses services and participated in some Bible study groups, they did not accept he had converted to Christianity or had a “genuine interest” in the religion.

They also “did not accept to be credible” the man’s claim to be homosexual, nor his claim he “had set up a homosexual relationship and tore up the Koran”.

The authority ultimately rejected the applicant’s claims “to fear serious harm for being a failed asylum-seeker or for having departed Iran unlawfully”, and rejected his visa application.

The man made a final appeal to the Federal Court, arguing the Immigration Assessment Authority had not adequately considered extra documentation sup­plied. Judge Rolf Driver rejected the appeal on Friday, saying the man had “failed to establish” the authority’s decision had been affected by jurisdictional error.

The man is in Western Australia’s Yongah Hill centre.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/wouldbe-refugees-gay-claims-not-credible/news-story/ee7fe3d67e7d8d7578f5119142571e6e

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