Annual Review 2016: Human Rights Situation of LGBTI in South Korea
Egyptian gay man recognized as refugee in appellate court

On October 6, 2016, the Seventh Administrative Division of Seoul High Court (Judge Yoon Sungwon) ruled in favor of a Egyptian National “H”, who filed a suit against the Head of the Seoul Immigration Office for the revocation of denial of refugee status, reversing the decision of the court of first instance. The court of first instance ruled against “H”, citing that there was insufficient evidence to confirm that the plaintiff is homosexual and that he kept his sexual orientation a secret while living in Egypt. However, the appellate court recognized the credibility of H’s testimony and reversed the decision of the court of first instance.[1]

Algerian gay man recognized as refugee in the court of first instance, loses in appellate trial

On July 20, 2016, the Cheongju First Administrative Division of the Daejeon High Court reversed the decision[2] of the court of first instance which granted an Algerian National “A” refugee status, and accepted the appeal of the Head of the Cheongju Immigration Detention Center.[3] The High Court cited, “Although it can be accepted that “A” is a homosexual, there is no evidence to conclude that he would be subject to persecution if he were to return to Algeria. It is not unreasonable or excessively harsh for A to settle in another area in Algeria to avoid dangers including threats from his family”.[4] “A” lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court in August 2016.



[1] Seoul High Court decision (confirmed) 2016Nu38619, 10/6/2016
[2] 『Annual Review 2015 Human Rights Situation of LGBTI in South Korea』, Korean Society of Law and Policy on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 2016, p. 69.
[3] “Algerian gay man applies for refugee status, ‘Yes’ in the court of first instance, ‘No’ in the court of second instance”, The Hankyoreh, 8/18/2016
[4] Daejeon High Court decision (Cheongju)2015Nu10729, 7/20/2016