Melanie Nathan, June 22, 2012.
Gay Star News is reporting that despite protests a 22-year-old Ugandan lesbian who was the victim of violent anti-gay abuse in her home country is to be deported back there from the UK tonight (Friday 22).
This has happened far too many times and we have often been able to stop these deportations. The only hope for Linda Nakibuuka, who reported being tortured for being a lesbian in Uganda, is to fight like crazy and refuse to board the plane. In those instances, the authorities usually do not force the deportee onto the plane.
Movement for Justice started a petition and protested outside the Ugandan embassy last Friday.
The group’s campaigner Abbey Kiwanuka told Gay Star News:
‘Linda was issued with a flight ticket and she is due to be deported on 22nd June, this Friday night. We know her name has got out and we believe she will be handed over to the hands which are expecting her. We are still fighting to stop her deportation.’
Movement for Justice were able to contact Nakibuuka’s MP yesterday, Siobhain McDonagh. She will log an appeal and try to stop the flight.
‘If the worst comes and she is put on a plane,’ said Abbey. ‘She will have to do it the bad way by refusing to go. She might do it on plane or before jumping on the flight. It’s a passenger flight and no one would like to fly eight hours with a shouting young girl on board.’
This is simply unconscionable on the part of the UK and it is not the first time it has happened.
UPDATED JUNE 22 2012
Apparently her MP and Minister of state for immigration Damian Green intervened. Deportation was stopped and Linda has been given 14 days to appeal to the High Court.
Activists in UK thank for everyone for your support and prayers. Much appreciated.
MY Articles on similar case in 2011 follows – one would think that by now the UK and their Judges get it. People who are LGBTI should not be deported to Uganda and that the government if in doubt as to whether the person is a lesbian or not, should err on the side of saving the life!
Melanie Nathan, San Francisco January 25, 2011- 10:19 AM.
Author of Notorious “Kill the Gays” in Uganda calls Melanie Nathan, USA Activist and Weighs in on UK Asylum Case: Says: Brenda should be returned to Uganda, “so that she can repent, and be reformed.”
Brenda Namigadde left Uganda 8 years ago, in 2003. She lived together with her partner, a Canadian woman Janet, but they were threatened, and both left the country, first Janet back to Canada, then Brenda went to the UK:
“Our relationship led us to be sworn at, threatened. Even the house where we were living was hurt, so we had to live in hiding for a month. Janet had to go back to Canada, the last time I saw here was in 2003. I’ve been in the U.K. for 8 years, applied for asylum last year for human protection.”
“I’ll be tortured, or killed, if I’m sent back to Uganda. They’ve put people like me to death there.”
“Yes I was involved in the protest at Trafalgar Square, we wanted to speak out against the law in Uganda. It’s not right how they treat gay people there. In Uganda, I have nobody there, it’s very dangerous for me. If I can stay here in the UK I can continue my studies, live my life freely, openly, without fear.”
This is the woman who faces deportation back to Uganda on January 28th. International Activists have worked in unity to effect a campaign to save Brenda from certain harm.
Brenda is presently detained at Yarlswood Immigrtaion Removal Centre. She has another removal date set for 28th January 2011 to Entebbe Uganda in Flight VS671 & KQ412 via Nairobi, Kenya at 21.20 hrs.
But the story gets more sinister – and even more scary than Brenda knows at this time. Yesterday I wrote a piece for my BLOG reporting Brenda’s story – and in the piece I referenced my recent interview with David Bahati which I had not previously reported on.
Today when I was working with Joseph Huff-Hannon of www.ALLOUT.org and Paul Canning Editor of LGBT ASYLUM News, on Skype regarding a Petition to support Brenda’s urgent bid for asylum, a call came through on my regular phone. It was David Bahati. He had read my previous article where I reported that Brenda’s asylum case had been rejected and that her deportation to Uganda was imminent.
Bahati said he read the piece about Brenda Namigadde where I quoted him and that he was calling to tell me to give Brenda a message. The author of the anti-gay legislation said that the legislation will be presented to the Ugandan Parliament in the next few weeks. Homosexuality Including men and women is considered a crime in Uganda as being against the order of nature. The new Bill by Bahati seeks to affirm its criminalization and also calls for the death penalty in certain circumstances.
He told me that Brenda should stop bad mouthing Uganda; that she would be welcome back to Uganda if she renounced her homosexuality and if she “repented.” I asked him if he based this ideal upon religious beliefs and he said “yes” that he did. I asked what if Brenda did not have the same belief as he did? I asked what if she did not believe that she could repent? He affirmed then she would be tried as a criminal.
After speaking to Mr. Bahati, I realize that he believes that Ms. Namigadde is indeed a lesbian. This serves only to enhance the danger she is in and flies in the face of the UK assertion that she may not have proved that she is a lesbian. She is indeed in danger.
It was astounding to me that David Bahati would call to comment on this case and the very fact that he did is indicative of the danger that Brenda faces.
He seemed to be very concerned about Uganda’s image and that she should not portray “her country as bad.” I believe that this adds to her danger.
Bahati said that Uganda is not harassing Brenda but rather it would be enforcing the law. I questioned him about the law itself and mentioned that the western world did not agree that homosexuality was not a human right as he had told me previously. I told him that the UK and the USA would expect Uganda to adhere to the terms of the Declaration of Human Rights and that if he could not see it that way that there would be every reason to grant her asylum abroad.
He did not agree.
Mr. Canning, British activist in the UK on LGBT Asylum issues, informs me that the Attorney for Brenda put in a fresh claim for asylum for Brenda to the UK Home Office. That should be decided before Friday as to whether or not she will be removed from the UK back to Uganda. If this is not successful then Brenda herself can refuse to be removed and the UK will have to use force. It would seem the UK authorities are very restricted in how they can do this because of previous cases where deportees have suffered harm and even death.
Canning told “This is outrageous hypocrisy by the British Government to one the one hand to criticize and be concerned about Uganda’s treatment of lesbians (homosexuals) and on the other to send people like Brenda back to certain danger. It is my hope that the UK Coalition government will live up to the agreement it made after the election – which included a statement that they would not send LGBT people back to danger. Obviously that promise was made after many, many were sent back. Activists should not be a in a situation where they have to keep having to campaign individually for people like Brenda.”
Here in the USA we can only wonder at how many have not come to our attention and slipped through the cracks.
Brenda is in the ‘fast track’ system for considering asylum claims. A removal 20 January was only avoided due to a mix up with passenger lists. She is now detained at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.
The placing of sexuality-based asylum claims in the ‘fast track’ system has been heavily criticized. In a review of 50 cases UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) found that 98% had been initially rejected, a significantly higher rate than for other claims. This made them more likely to be placed in ‘fast track where applicants and their lawyers had much less time to prepare an appeal, for, it is argued, often complex claims to be properly considered.
By coincidence the Conservative MP for Brighton, Kemptown, Simon Kirby, asked the Immigration Minister, Damien Green MP, in the House of Commons yesterday about whether he had given consideration “to the participation of (a) women and (b) lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in the detained fast-track procedure.”
“Entry to the detained fast-track procedure is determined by reference to published policy available on the UK Border Agency website. The policy lays out categories of claimant who, for reasons of particular vulnerability such as late pregnancy, children or serious disability, are excluded from entry to the process. For all other claimants, the key factor determining entry to the process is whether a quick, fair and sustainable decision can be taken on the case.”
“We do not intend to specifically add to an exclusion list all applicants on the basis of claimed or accepted gender, gender identity or sexuality. However, if on a case by case basis, any claimants from these groups are identified as having a claim of particular complexity, the general consideration referred to previously regarding amenability to a quick, fair and sustainable decision will apply.”Translation: we don’t accept that these cases are complex.