Charles Ngoy

South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has reportedly refused to grant asylum, requested on the basis of sexual orientation, to a gay Congolese man, reports LGBT Asylum News.

Charles Ngoy says that he fears persecution in his homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), because of being gay and wants to live in South Africa where he can live his life openly.

His application was refused by Home Affairs because homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in the DRC. However, homosexuality is frowned upon and there is no protection of LGBT people in the country.

In 2010, the US State Department said that in the DRC “individuals engaging in public displays of homosexuality were subject to prosecution under public decency provisions in the penal code and articles in the 2006 law on sexual violence”.

“In DRC [I] have never been arrested for my sexual orientation but I’ve been discriminated by Congolese people, by friends by family because that life is not an easy life,” Ngoy, who also fears being rejected for his albinism, told journalist Matuba Mahlatjie.

“Also I’m facing double persecution because I’m an albino… in Congo, if you are albino, and you are not protected by your family it’s very difficult because not everyone in Congo likes albinos,” he said.

Cape Town-based organisation, PASSOP (People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty), which launched a ‘gay refugee programme’ in June, insists that Ngoy has a case.

“The case of Charles is not the exception, it’s the norm. We’re seeing more and more cases like this,” David Von Durgsdorff from PASSOP told eNews.

Ngoy plans to appeal the asylum rejection.

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