UEL governor calls on Olympics Gay athletes to defect during 2012 Games

Human rights lawyer Mark Stephens has called on Olympic Lesbian and Gay athletes who don’t feel safe in their own countries to apply for asylum during the London 2012 Games.

Mr Stephens, who chairs the University of East London’s board of governors, has lobbied the International Olympic Committee to ban countries where homosexuality is criminalised from competing in the Games.

He told a public lecture at the university: “I invite these athletes to apply for asylum on the grounds that they face persecution at home if they are open about their sexual identity.

“The British government will have to hear their application and engage with the human rights abuses perpetrated against gay and lesbian communities across the world.”

The lecture was part of a series on issues of community, economy, and human rights in east London and around the world against the backdrop of the Olympic Games.