Woman in dark shirt and jacket looking into the camera.
Silas Aliki is one of two co-founders of Sweden's first legal surgery for LGBT asylum seekers. Credit: Carla Orrego Veliz

Lawyers open first office focused on assisting LGBT asylum seekers

4:40 min

Silas Aliki and her colleague Patrick Bazanye have opened Sweden's first legal surgery focused on assisting LGBT asylum seekers.

Silas Aliki and Patrick Bazanye opened the legal bureau this week after handling several cases of refugees seeking asylum on the grounds of facing persecution in their home countries because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

What differs between their cases and other asylum seekers' cases is that "for LGBT people, a big thing is credibility," Aliki, tells Radio Sweden. "You have to be a 'credible' lesbian, gay or trans person."

"When the sexual orientation or the gender identity is the actual asylum ground, you have to describe something you might feel ashamed of, that you might be afraid of speaking about with an official or interpreter."

"And so it is good if the lawyer has LGBT competence, that is if the lawyer is able to get the applicant feel comfortable about telling their story," says Aliki.

 

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