Germany opens first asylum centre for gays who are targeted for persecution by Muslim refugees
Germany has opened its first shelter for gay migrants in Nuremberg amid claims of growing abuse victimising the LGBT people inside the camps they were put in.
The new facility in southern Germany's Nuremberg can host up to eight people. It is being leased and managed by the gay and lesbian group Fliederlich, Agence France-Press reported.
"No one has moved in yet but it's a question of a day or two, the accommodation is ready," Michael Glas, the group's manager said. "Four people from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Ethiopia have made requests for a bed in the small two-story house."
Glas said the initiative to come up with a separate facility for homosexuals was prompted by the reports of 20 refugees who said they felt threatened in their current shelters."Some Muslims are offended by the presence of homosexuals or transgender people in refugee shelters.''
He added that homosexuals who were persecuted in their home countries for being gay continue to be targeted in refugee camps in Germany. "Prejudices don't disappear when one crosses the borders.''
The facility in Nuremberg is reportedly one of four similar facilities across Germany expected to be established for homosexual migrants over the next few months. Berlin plans to open an even larger centre in March with 120 beds, while Munich and Frankfurt are also considering similar options, International Business Times reported.
Stephan Jakel, manager of gay association Schwulenberatung in Berlin, said the organisation has been receiving numerous reports about discrimination and crimes against LGBT people as well and decided to come up with a shelter intended only for them.
"They were frightened and scared after being beaten or spat on, and one survived a murder attempt. We heard a lot of horrible stories," Jakel said.
Fliederlich Chairman Ralpf Hoffmann said gay and lesbian refugees come under "constant stress" because some Muslims "see the presence of homosexual or transsexual people in the lodging as an affront."
From August 1 to Dec. 31, 2015, the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany recorded 95 cases of abuses against homosexuals, including physical violence, sexual attacks and threats, AFP reported.
Germany took in 1.1 million asylum seekers in 2015, mostly from war-ravaged countries like Syria, Iraq and Africa.