Dutch open doors to Russian LGBT asylum claims
The situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Russia has deteriorated so much that the Netherlands how considers them a "risk group". For this reason the Netherlands has made it easier for Russian homosexuals to find asylum here. State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice informed the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, about this in a letter on Tuesday, NRC reports. This follows a report published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last month that stated that LGBT's are victims of violence everywhere in Russia, and that authorities hardly intervene. From now Russian homosexuals can prove to the Immigration and Naturalization Service with "low indications" that they fear persecution in their own country. Before they had to prove that they as individual would be in danger should they return to Russia. Previously the Immigration and Naturalization Service regularly rejected asylum applications from Russian LGBT's on the basis that larger cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg were still safe. The Foreign Affairs report no longer explicitly state that these cities are safer and the Service must therefore now be more restrained, according to Dijkhoff.