LGBTI equality charity Stonewall UK has released a video featuring refugees and activists reading excerpts from a report, detailing the experiences have had while in detention.
Released in October 2016 and compiled in a report titled "No Safe Refuge", the everyday discrimination and violence endured by LGBTI asylum seekers was revealed after Stonewall and the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group investigated the struggles experienced by those seeking asylum as a result of their sexual orientation.
After conducting interviews with 22 refugees held in UK detention centres, the findings showed that staff were ill-equipped to deal with the harassment faced by LGBTI people from fellow detainees, with those seeking asylum often feeling forced to hide their identity in an effort to try and stave off assault.
Stonewall UK Chief Executive Ruth Hunt expressed her disappointment after the report was released in a statement on the charity's website.
"This research contains deeply troubling findings and paints a distressing picture of life for LGBT people inside UK detention centres," Hunt said. "Asylum seekers are seeking refuge from persecution and abuse but unfortunately, as this report shows, UK detention centres offer little respite."
Ahead of a conference to promote the "No Safe Refuge" report this morning, the group produced a video of activists and refugees now living in the United Kingdom reading direct excerpts from the findings.
One of the activists, Ivan Alvarez, detailed the physical abuse received by one of the interviewees while in an asylum centre.
"They beat the hell out of you, I was tied to a tree in the compound then they put me in a room and locked me in there…I didn’t have any food or drink, I was just treated like a slave," Alvarez said.
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) February 27, 2017
Hunt spoke at the event, continuing her push for better treatment of asylum seekers in an effort to reach true equality for LGBTI people.
"We can't claim to have claim to have equality for LGBTI people if we deny the same dignity to LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers." she said.