Lesbian dies after being deported by United Kingdom back to Uganda

By Melanie Nathan, March 12, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 10.25.36 AMActivists in the United Kingdom are blaming the United Kingdom Border Agency for deporting an asylum seeker who has now according to Pink News, died in Uganda, “after she claimed she was at risk of homophobic persecution,” if she returned.

When it comes to LGBT Asylum the UK is all talk and no real action.  While the United Kingdom’s government  purports to support LGBT asylees, in truth they fail them, certainly when it comes to the Home Office and the consideration that ought to be given to asyless from all over the world, especially Africa and more especially, Uganda.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) deported Jackie Nanyonjo to the African country on 12 January, despite promises that they would improve asylum chances for LGBT people. According to reports, she fought strongly against the deportation order and continued to resist the decision, “becoming ill in the process, during her transit to Uganda’s Entebbe Airport.” (Pink News):

Jackie Nanyonjo died in Uganda on Friday 8 March. It said in a statement: “When Jackie arrived at Entebbe Airport the ‘escort’ party handed her over to the Ugandan authorities, who held her for many more hours without any medical attention.

“When family members finally met her, long after the flight had landed, Jackie was in terrible pain and vomiting blood; they rushed her to a clinic, but in a country with widespread poverty and limited medical facilities they were unable to get the medical attention Jackie needed.

“Since Jackie was in hiding as a known lesbian, protected by relatives, every trip to a doctor or hospital involved a risk to her life and to the safety of her family. They were condemned to watch the agonising decline of Jackie’s health and strength over the next two months.”

Human rights campaigners have arranged for a protest to take place outside the Home Office in Westminster, central London, from 12.30pm on Thursday 14 March.

This is an outrage; speaking to ugandan activists today, I was informed that Jackie had not made contact with them in Uganda as she may have been too afraid, having already been exposed through the deportation process. In tandem with the reports, activists agree that Jackie was forced into hiding because she had been exposed as a lesbian and hence feared exposure and probably could not obtain the medical attention she needed.

The deportations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers have not ceased are continuing, despite government pledges to ensure their refuge in the United Kingdom.

This case ought to cause outrage as it exemplifies the dangers in such deportations, which seem to occur all too often.

Traumatized refugees who have fled homophobic persecution and violence should not be subjected to further intimidation at the hands of the government where they seek safety and this, all too often, is what occurs by virtue of the treatment the asylum seekers are subjected to by the UK authorities.  The deportation process Jackie endured is evidence of this inhumanity. This death could have been prevented. Jackie should be alive and well and living in the United Kingdom.  An investigation should be launched.

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12 thoughts on “Lesbian dies after being deported by United Kingdom back to Uganda

  1. Yip, and this does not make South Africa any different. We have many cases like this here where individuals and GLBT churches pay out of their own pockets to help these people. Some cases even pay a bribe to get the papers processed. Every sponsor and every bribe save a life!

  2. This is so sad! I’m scared. I fear for my life and my wife’s life!
    A gay person its never safe in Africa!
    Situations like this makes me think that Africa ill never change.

  3. R.I,P Jackie, to the UNHCR, many people are in the situation of the Late. beloved sister Jackie, and many lives will be lost if you dont come out with direct oders to both where a pesorson is coming from and where he or she is at the momment.why would they deport and then hand a person who run from death to such persecutors,it make me so sick
    may UNITED KINGDOM just wanted to make a test now the test is done please help people to live no one calls for death so dont call death for poor citzens of the WORLD.

  4. Pingback: Haunts: Jackie Nanyonjo died last Friday – women in and beyond the global
    1. That is not quite accurate and please contact me privately re your information. She was never picked up by Ugandan Authorities – according to my information. Her family picked her up at the airport and she got off the plane very ill. Please contact me to verify your assertions or these rumors could hurt impending lawsuits and activism.

  5. Pingback: UK to deport lesbian to Uganda for ‘being single for five years’ | Gay-News
  6. Pingback: Death by deportation | The k2p blog
  7. Pingback: The ongoing persecution of LGBT asylum seekers must end! Where is the outrage?

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