Court of Appeal of Bari, judgment 5 March 2013 (Italy)
The case is related to an asylum seeker from Gambia, who was denied the refugee status for lack of credibility about the circumstances leading to persecution. The eligibility authority (the Territorial Commission), according to which there were no doubts about his sexual orientation, gave weight to the fact that in Gambia criminal sanctions for committing homosexual acts are not applied. In the Court of Appeal’s view, it is not relevant whether or not the criminal sanctions are effectively applied. In fact, the mere existence of such sanctions in the legal order amounts to persecution. The applicant, who was eventually granted the refugee status, has indeed the right to express his sexual orientation without experiencing any fear (“ha il diritto di manifestare e attuare [il suo orientamento sessuale] senza timore”).