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NL: The Court of the Hague seated in Groningen rejected the appeal of a Nigerian woman, applicant for international protection on the grounds of sexual orientation, due to her lack of credibility.

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Netherlands, Court of The Hague [Rechtbank Den Haag], Applicant v State Secretary for Justice and Security, NL21.8364, 09 August 2023. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
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The applicant, a Nigerian national, applied for international protection in the Netherlands on the grounds of sexual orientation. The applicant stated that she is a lesbian and that she had been caught engaging in sexual relations with her friend. The applicant claimed that her friend was killed because of her sexual orientation, and she fears that she will be sent to prison or be murdered by the community upon return. The applicant is also afraid of her father and the Nigerian government.

The State Secretary for Justice and Security rejected the application for a temporary residence as unfounded on 26 May 2021. The applicant appealed the decision to the Court of the Hague and submitted a report from LGBT Asylum Support dated 23 November 2022 as evidence. 

According to the Court of the Hague seated in Groningen, the applicant's assertions were inconsistent and vague, which undermined her credibility and prevented her from persuading the court that she is eligible for asylum. The court determined that she does not run the risk of harm and she is not eligible for refugee protection. The asylum claim was thus rejected by the court as being unfounded. 

The court further stated that the applicant failed to make specific, more detailed statements regarding her sexual orientation even though the authorities asked many questions. The court did not place much weight on the LGBT Asylum Support report, which the applicant used to substantiate her claims. In the appeal, the State Secretary for Justice and Security, correctly concluded that the applicant's stated lesbian orientation was not credible. The account of the relationship with the friend also had credibility issues. The applicant's attendance at LGBTI events in the Netherlands, which was demonstrated by the images she presented, was not disputed by the court. However, the assessment centred on the applicant's assertions, which varied and diminished the applicant's credibility. 

The court also ruled that the applicant lacked legal interest in the appeal because she already had legal residence in the Netherlands under the terms of Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This right to residence was derived from the applicant's son's, who is a Dutch national. 

Country of Decision
Court Name
NL: Court of The Hague [Rechtbank Den Haag]
Case Number
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
Assessment of Application
Gender identity / Gender expression / Sexual Orientation / SOGIESC