ACLU of Louisiana files brief supporting refugee facing anti-LGBTQ violence in Ghana

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The ACLU of Louisiana has filed a brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals urging it to determine that the Immigration and Nationality Act protects people persecuted in their home countries for their sexuality.

A gay man from Ghana named Suraj Muntaka is the subject of the case. Vigilantes in Ghana, where it’s illegal to be gay, had allegedly beaten Muntaka with stones and batons, according to spokesperson Channing Grate.

Despite the violence Muntaka faced, the Bureau of Immigration Appeals found that he was not part of a group eligible for protection under the Immigration and Nationality Act, so he was not granted asylum.

“Mr. Muntaka was subjected to brutal violence in Ghana due to his sexual orientation, and faces the very real threat of persecution and arrest if returned to his home country,” ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Alanah Odoms said. “The Bureau of Immigration Appeals’ refusal to grant Mr. Muntaka asylum reflects a dated understanding of our asylum laws that the Fifth Circuit is in a position to fix.” 

Click here to read the ACLU of Louisiana’s entire friend-of-the-court brief.

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