A Georgian man currently living in Ireland is seeking refugee status after claiming he cannot return to his native Georgia due to a fear of anti-gay violence and discrimination.
The 31 year old unnamed man, who first left for Ireland in 2007, claims that he fled his home country to escape the threat of violence that he faced because of his sexual-orientation.
The Irish Times reported that the man initially claimed asylum in 2007 but had his first appeal rejected. Now, more than 5 years later the Georgian national has brought his case back before an Irish court.
Under Irish law asylum seekers may be granted refugee status, and therefore protection, if the lives of themselves or their families is under threat if they return to their home country. It is believed that the initial appeal in 2007 was rejected because of a lack of evidence showing homophobic persecution.
According to the legal team of the Georgian man assault and persecution of homosexuals in Georgia is widely accepted as the norm, leading for a difficult living situation for many LGBT individuals.
Although many LGBT individuals have sought refuge in Western European countries such as Ireland it is believed that this is the first case of a Georgian nation citing homophobia as a reason to flee their home country.