Deportation to States which Persecute on the Grounds of Sexuality and Gender Identity

September 15, 2008 1:40 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats today agreed the Government must stop deporting gay and lesbian people to countries where they face persecution.

The Government currently deports gay and lesbian people to countries such as Iran and Nigeria where they face severe punishments, including the death penalty.

The full text of the motion is below. Mover: Brian Stone

Summation: Adrian Trett

Conferences notes:

a) A number of recent cases in which lesbians and gay men have been deported or threatened with deportation to countries, including Iran and Nigeria, where homosexuality is treated as a crime punishable by sentences including the death penalty.

b) That the British Government has argued it would be acceptable for a lesbian or gay person to be deported to a homophobic state, as long as that individual behaved in a 'discreet' manner.

c) That the UK is a signatory to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which prohibits torture, and the transfer, return or expulsion of persons to countries where there are substantial grounds for believing that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

Conference reaffirms the commitment in the preamble to the Liberal Democrat constitution that our responsibility for justice and liberty cannot be confined by national boundaries; we are committed to fight poverty, oppression, hunger, ignorance, disease and aggression wherever they occur and to promote the free movement of ideas, people, goods and services.

Conference believes that:

1. Everyone should be treated equally under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification.

2. The suggestion that individuals should behave 'discreetly' to guarantee protection from harm is, in the 21st century, an inappropriate message for the British Government to send to the countries concerned and their people.

Conference therefore calls on the Government to halt the deportation of people to countries where their sexual orientation or gender identification may mean that they are threatened with the risk of imprisonment, torture, or even execution.