On May 17, a candlelight vigil was held in in Taylor Square to mark International Day Against Homophobia. The vigil was organised by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) Network of Amnesty International and Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) and called for the immediate release of Ali Humayun, a gay refugee from Pakistan who has been held in the Villawood immigration detention centre for more than two years.
"It is clear that the Refugee Review Tribunal has been homophobic against Ali", CAAH spokesperson Farida Iqbal told Green Left Weekly. The RRT has denied Humayun's claim for asylum on the grounds that his fear of persecution in Pakistan for his sexual orientation lacks sufficient evidence. It claims that his identification as a homosexual is a result of his detention.
"For Ali to be deported to Pakistan would be a death sentence. He can't stay in detention. It is injurious to his mental health. So there is no other option but to free him", said Iqbal.