Pakistani refugee claimant gets third chance to prove he is bisexual, secure status in Canada

posted on December 11, 2018

By Vancouver Sun |

A Pakistani man will, once again, have to go before a refugee board and attempt to prove he’s bisexual as part of his quest to secure refugee status in Canada.

In November, the Federal Court ruled that the refugee board had reasonably concluded that Rahat Ali’s claim that he was bisexual wasn’t credible. But, the court also said the board was incorrect in dismissing Ali’s fears that, should he return to Pakistan from Montreal, he faced mortal danger from the Taliban.

It was the second time the Federal Court decided Ali should get another hearing.

And so, said his lawyer, Dan Bohbot, he’ll go a third time before the refugee protection division to try and make his case for refugee status — including trying to prove his bisexuality and answering invasive questions about his sexual behaviour.

“It’s pretty demeaning to have to go through all these kinds of questions, and that’s exactly what homosexuals have to go through,” Bohbot said. “There’s this expectation that a homosexual who’s an immigrant or a refugee will have to go through certain steps in order to convince the board that he is.”

Ali, 33, fled Pakistan in August 2012, the Federal Court wrote in its summary, threatened by the Taliban over his liberal views on Islam — Ali, allegedly, confronted a Taliban mullah — and arrived in Canada in November 2012, where he sought refuge. While in Pakistan, he’d moved several times, over concerns about his safety.

In a 2016 attack, gunmen killed Ali’s parents in the family home; he believes it was the Taliban, and that they had threatened both him and his brother, Liaqat Ali, a refugee in the United States. That means Rahat Ali fears for his life, should he return to Pakistan.

In January 2015, Rahat Ali’s first refugee claim in Canada was rejected. The board found his fears of the Taliban and facing death for bisexuality to be not credible.

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