On July 6, Handa Center research fellow Sarah Chynoweth's Letter to the Editor war published in The New York Times about gay refugees from the Middle East. You can read the article in its entirety here or below.
Re “For Abused Gay Iraqi in Turkey, U.S. Refugee Freeze Is Cruelest Blow” (news article, July 2):
Last fall, I traveled to the Middle East to undertake research for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and met a number of gay and transgender refugees from Syria and Iraq. Like Mohammed, featured in your article, many of these refugees have undergone terrible violence — including sexual violence and torture — in their home countries.
Fleeing to a neighboring country brought little relief: They continued to experience violence and victimization by the police, employers, neighbors and even taxi drivers.
Securing adequate protection for L.G.B.T. refugees is often extremely difficult. For many of them, the only real option to ensure safety is resettlement to a more progressive country like the United States.
The Trump administration’s new “refugee freeze” will condemn many L.G.B.T. refugees around the world to continuing pain and suffering.