EU court rejects sexuality tests on asylum seekers

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Asylum seekers in the European Union cannot be submitted to psychological tests to determine their sexuality, the bloc’s top court ruled Thursday, in the case of a Nigerian man seeking refuge in Hungary because of his homosexuality.

Asylum issues are sensitive in the EU following a migration surge in recent years, notably from Syria and other countries in the Middle East, with member states in disagreement over the intake of refugees amid a populist backlash.

The case relates to a Nigerian man who sought asylum in Hungary in 2015, arguing that he was homosexual and feared prosecution back home.

The Hungarian authorities rejected his request, arguing that a psychological assessment had not confirmed his sexual orientation.

The man appealed the decision and the case was referred to the European Court of Justice.

The Luxembourg-based judges found that psychological testing of an asylum seeker’s sexual orientation “constitutes an interference with that person’s right to respect for his private life,” according to a court statement.

Given that any asylum seeker is “in a situation in which his future is closely linked” to the outcome of application, it would be hard to refuse such a test when asked, the judges argued.

In the absence of documentary evidence, national authorities can rely on the “consistency and plausibility” of the asylum seeker’s statements, the court said.

The final decision on this case now rests with the Hungarian courts.(dpa/NAN)

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