Posters advising migrants to pretend to be gay in order to claim asylum in the UK have sprung up at the Calais migrant camp known as The Jungle. The extensive, detailed advice is written in both English and Arabic. It is not known who posted it.
According to the Daily Mail, the posters have been attached to a caravan at the entrance to The Jungle. It suggests that migrants chose a “category” which proves their life would be endangered if they returned to their homeland. Among the options listed are “race and religion” and “being gay in some countries.”
Migrants are urged to “prepare their story well from the beginning”, and to take into account whether their “story fits well with them,” (the UK government) suggesting that a credible story be concocted.
When facing asylum interviews, the migrants are advised to “try and remember” all the details of “what happened”, and to take written notes in with them. Some information on what sort of questions are likely to be asked is also included.
So far none of the organisations working at The Jungle has claimed responsibility for the posters, and no individuals have stepped forward. It could have been posted by any one of a number of organisations working there, many of whom show solidarity toward the immigrants.
One such group as No Borders, lists remarkably similar advice on its website in a range of languages. The advice on the website asserts “Asylum is a right guaranteed for everyone under international law,” but highlights the need to convince the authorities of the danger of being returned home.
It lists categories for claiming asylum including “race; religion; nationality; political opinion; or membership of a particular social group (such as being a woman, gay and so on),” adding: “Think carefully about which of the above categories applies to you and how your story fits in with them. But even if your political asylum is refused, there might be other reasons (called humanitarian grounds) that may allow you to stay in the UK, such as discrimination, family life and so on. Ask about that!”
No Borders hold regular workshops in The Jungle on how to gain asylum in Britain. Over the weekend, members of No Borders erected a wooden plaque promising to provide migrants with all “they n/ever wanted to know about asylum in the UK.”
The group have declared that it is “bored of borders” and that there should be “no global borders”. Group members live in The Jungle with the migrants, and carry out protests alongside the migrants.
Another poster in the camp lists guidelines for migrants, telling them what to do if UK border police stop them. They are told not to answer any questions, or give their name or address.
In the year to March Britain received 31,945 asylum applications, around 44 per cent of which were accepted. However this year’s tally is likely to be much higher as the whole of Europe has been experiencing a huge influx of migrants in the last few months.
Germany, which has the highest number of applications of asylum seekers of any European country, registered nearly 74,000 migrants between January and April, followed by 79,000 in July alone.
There are some 5,000 migrants camped outside Calais at the moment hoping to catch a ride on lorries or through the channel tunnel. Around 3,500 of those are expected to be successful. It has been estimated that numbers in Calais may rise to 10,000 by the end of the summer.