Deportation of Uganda Gay Robert Segwanyi deferred as about to Board Plane

July 11, 2011, Posted by Melanie Nathan, Article by Paul Canning:

The removal of Ugandan gay asylum seeker Robert Segwanyi was tonight “deferred” at the last minute. He had been moved today to a Heathrow ‘removal centre’ for an early morning 11 July flight to Kampala.  The deferment comes after the last minute intervention of Segwanyi’s MP, Mike Hancock, as well as the MEP Michael Cashman.  Many concerned people also wrote the British Home Secretary Theresa May over the past few days.

A new lawyer had been found today for Robert – who has been badly represented previously – but he did not have enough time in which to submit a judicial review application.

Robert was imprisoned and tortured for homosexuality. On escaping prison in June 2010 he fled to the UK and applied for asylum a fortnight later. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) does not accept he is gay and a judge rejected his appeal claiming that there is no risk to gay people in Uganda.

Hancock’s letter demanded that Robert be given enough time to put in for judicial review – because, he explained in some detail, previous judicial dismissal of Robert’s case appeared to be unsafe.

In particular he pointed to immigration judge Hembrough’s treatment of the evidence of Professor Cornelius Katona, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Emeritus professor of Psychiatry in the University of Kent, Honorary Professor in the Department of Mental Health Sciences at University College London and author of over 300 expert medical reports. (Katona’s evidence wasn’t available on Friday when we detailed other problems with both judge Hembrough’s as well as the UK Border Agency (UKBA)’s treatment of Robert.)

Hancock pointed to the judge’s statement in his ruling that Prof. Katona did not consider Mr Segwani to be gay – yet Prof. Katona has said that this is “with respect, incorrect”.

Hembrough said he had “considerable doubts as to whether” Segwanyi was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) – despite Prof. Katona saying that it would not even be possible for professional actors to fake PTSD symptoms in a way that Segwanyi did.

The treatment of Katona’s evidence demands judicial review, Hancock says.

Further, he points out that Theresa May has said that “cases involving LGBT will be reviewed before final deportation.” And Hancock wants an answer to his suggestion:

“That this case shows that the UKBA and the Home Office are institutionally homophobic and there should be better consideration of this case so that it can demonstrate that it is not.”

Hancock notes that the judge’s determination in November was:

“Even if I am wrong regarding the Appellant’s homosexuality I see no reason to depart from the [then] current country guidance” – this guidance being that “the evidence does not establish that in general there is persecution of homosexuality (sic) in Uganda”.

When, Hancock says, the situation for LGBT in Uganda was widely reported as worsening. Read the rest of this Article by Paul canning on LGBT Asylum News at

Thanks to All my Readers who wrote to help Robert.

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  1. UK to Deport Uganda Gay Man, Robert Segwanyi, despite Torture and Risk to his Life « O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - July 12, 2011

    […] UPDATED AT –… […]

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