A 25-year old gay student from Hyderabad has been granted refugee status by Australia’s Refugee Review Tribunal to escape his oppressive family and an arranged marriage to an Indian woman.
The man, a commerce graduate, lives with his boyfriend in New South Wales and had arrived on a student visa in March 2009 to study for a diploma in business management but withdrew from the course after six months, The Australian reported. He claimed that on his last visit to his family, he was assaulted by his male cousins and locked by his father, who was pressurising him to marry a woman. He was even threatened by a local Muslim cleric and could escape with the help of a female friend.
In July 2012, Australia’s immigration department had rejected his claim, saying that he could move safely to some other Indian city. However, the Refugee Review Tribunal ruled that if he returned to Hyderabad it was “reasonable to believe he would be assaulted and probably forced to marry, and if he were to refuse he would probably face more serious harm and be killed”.
The man and his partner have registered to marry in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).