Gay Yemeni activist seeks asylum in Canada

Ala’a Jarban blogged about gay rights and the revolution

Ala’a Jarban narrates a video about the political and human rights situation in Yemen. Support Yemen

A gay Yemeni activist known for blogging about the 2011 Yemen revolution is seeking asylum in Canada.

Ala’a Jarban recently came out in an online post while at a human rights conference in Montreal. While many applauded Jarban’s bravery, others have condemned him, TechPresident reports.

Homosexuality is illegal in Yemen, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission notes there are “rampant infringements on privacy and civil liberties” in the country.

While Jarban is known for blogging about Yemen’s political revolution, he also created a blog where gay Yemenis could write about their lives.

Xtra recently explored the many problems gay refugees like Jarban face getting to, and finding asylum in, Canada. Our government insists it’s leading the way in helping persecuted queer people, but local activists disagree.

Also, check out Xtra‘s interview with Canadian writer Kamal Al-Solaylee. His book Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes details his life as a gay man growing up in Yemen.

Danny Glenwright was formerly Xtra’s managing editor. He has a background in human rights journalism and media training and a masters in international cooperation and development from Italy’s University of Pavia. Before coming to Xtra, Danny was the editor of the Gender Links Opinion and Commentary news service in South Africa and a regular contributor to South Africa’s Mail and Guardian news. He has also worked in Sierra Leone, Palestine, Namibia, the United Kingdom and Rwanda.

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