KINGSTON, Jamaica — A 32-year-old Jamaican man who was denied asylum in the United Kingdom (UK) has been spared deportation following his attorney’s filing of a bail application and hearing with the UK immigration department.
According to the media reports in the UK, Orashia Edwards lost his legal battle Tuesday when the UK Home Office denied him asylum on the basis of his sexuality, claiming the Jamaican had been “dishonest” about his sexual orientation.
However, Edwards’s legal representative, Zareen Preston insists that Edwards is bisexual.
“He has been consistent throughout about his sexuality. He has provided everything he possibly can to prove his case and has effectively been on trial for two years. He came to the UK for protection and has been treated like a criminal by the very system that should be providing protection to genuine asylum-seekers like Orashia who are at risk of persecution in their own country. No one should live in fear due to their sexuality,” a report in the Advocate.com quoted Preston as saying.
Preston spoke about her client’s treatment, saying “Orashia has been detained twice and has been treated appallingly whilst in detention.”
The Advocate reports that in addition to allegations of troubling treatment in detention, Preston also asserts there is a history of anti-LGBT bias in the Home Office’s decisions about who is granted asylum.
“The Home Office refuses about 98 per cent of all gay and bisexual asylum-seekers,” The Advocate reported Preston as saying.
The Home Office has repeatedly denied allegations that it is biased in how it makes asylum decisions, the Advocate says.
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