The applicant requested asylum in Sweden in 2018, but her application was rejected by the Migration Agency, which said she had not presented reliable information about her gender identity as a woman.
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But the Migration Court threw out the decision, saying she had made a convincing case.
“It is unusual for an asylum seeker to invoke a gender identity as a trans person as a reason for protection. In this case, the court has unanimously agreed that the asylum seeker has presented her reflections on identifying as a woman in a clear and detailed manner,” said the judge and court chairman Lars I Magnusson in a statement.
She has links to Iraq and Kuwait, but the court judged that it would not be possible for her to openly disclose her background in either country, in a ruling seen by The Local.
Magnusson added that “there is then a risk that she would face reprisals in the place where she settles as a trans person. The judgment also states that there are probably no opportunities for the woman to receive adequate government protection”.
The court granted the woman refugee status, as well as a three-year residence and work permit.
The decision comes just three months after a judicial investigation by RFSL, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) rights, which criticised Swedish migration authorities for making transgender people jump through too narrow hoops to prove their gender identity.
“Asylum seekers are expected to conceal their LGBTQI identify, trans people's asylum claims are missed and the legal uncertainty is widespread in LGBTQI asylum cases,” it said, after examining 2,000 decisions and court cases between 2012 and 2020.