Man denied asylum because of being single tells people like him not to lose hope

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A gay Malaysian man seeking asylum because of homophobic persecution was refused eight times by Home Office officials because he was not in same-sex relationships. Yew Fook Sam (known as Sam), 68, claimed asylum on the basis of his sexual orientation after being arrested in 2015. He had entered the UK 10 years previously on a travel visa and became a part of LGBT community there, attending Pride events on a regular basis. If he came back to Malaysia, he would be imprisoned because this country treats homosexuality as a crime. Despite this, his claim was rejected. “They told me because I didn’t have a boyfriend I wasn’t gay,” Sam told the Liverpool Echo, adding that he is mature enough to decide whether to date someone or not, and he is okay being single. Sam now has five years leave to remain, at the end of which he can apply for indefinite leave. He said he is having therapy “to process it all”, studying, and volunteering with Pride organizations and asylum services. “I work two days a week at Asylum Link as a volunteer interpreter,” he told the Echo, “Every time people come to me I give encouragement: ‘Don’t ever give up hope.’”

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