Orashia Edwards, a bisexual Jamaican asylum seeker, has been released from detention custody and had his deportation flight cancelled while he awaits for an appeal against his rejected asylum claim.
Edwards claim for asylum based on his sexuality was rejected after the Home Office did not believe his bisexuality and accused him of being dishonest and instead was just ‘experimenting’ with men.
Edwards is quoted in the Guardian saying that he believed his life would be in danger in Jamaica as under the country’s anti-sodomy laws, sexual relationships between men are illegal. He said: “I won’t survive if I go back… the media coverage of my case means that my picture and my story are all over the Jamaican media. Once you are perceived as homosexual or bisexual you are branded for the rest of your life.”
The Home Office has previously been criticised for the way in which it deals with LGBT asylum cases. Edwards submitted intimate photographs of himself with a male partner for evidence in his case, which the LGBT campaign group Stonewall previously called ‘distressing’.
In a statement to Pink News, Edwards said he is “relieved to be back home with friends and family and hopes his asylum claim will be granted soon”. He will appeal his rejection on the 17th June.