Protestors call for UK Home Secretary to resign after deported Ugandan lesbian dies

Calling on Theresa May to resign

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 8.12.12 PMA protest outside the home office, called on Theresa May to resign after Jackie Nanyonjo  died in Uganda after being held in a United Kingdon detention center, and then handed to a security agency and then deported ( UK term should be ‘removed’) to Uganda by UK border agency. Read the full report here:

Protesters at the Home Office claimed that Jackie Nanyonjo, a Ugandan lesbian was forcibly removed (deported in US terms) to Entebbe in January, and then when she  arrived, it is alleged that she was vomiting blood, after being restrained by burly security guards on the flight. She died on 8 March.

Around a hundred people came to the lunchtime protest organised by the Movement for Justice (MFJ) with banners and placards and chanted slogans against the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and Home Office Minister Teresa May.

The Story:

Jackie Nanyonjo came to the UK five years ago, having fled Uganda after being beaten and tortured by her husband following a forced marriage when he found that she was a lesbian. Here in the UK she was able to live openly as a lesbian, and took part in campaigns for gay rights and asylum rights with the Movement for Justice in this country. But despite evidence of her sexuality from her partner here and others in the LGBT community, the UKBA refused to believe she was a lesbian and turned down her application for asylum. They sent her to be detained in Yarl’s Wood.

The first attempt to remove her and send her back to Uganda was in December, during which she resisted and was brutally attacked by the security ‘escorts’ supplied by contractor Reliance used by the UKBA, and had to be returned to Yarl’s Wood when the airline refused to carry her. She made a formal complaint to the UKBA against the brutal treatment by Reliance employees, but this was rejected. The only medical treatment she was able to get for the injuries she had sustained was paracetamol.

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 8.13.04 PMOn Jan 10th the UKBA told her she was to be deported  through removal proceedings on an EgyptAir flight, despite having applied for a Judicial Review of her case. When the airline were told she was being sent back against her will, they refused to carry her, but Qatar Airways agreed with the UKBA to fly her to Entebbe.

She was accompanied on the flight by 4 hefty security escorts from Reliance Security, who, according to the account given at the protest by one of her close friends, beat her through the flight and forced her head down between her legs, and tried to strangle her. By the time she left the plane she was vomiting blood from the injuries she had received, but was not given medical attention.

When she was released to family members many hours later  after her arrival, and after being held by Ugandan authorities at the airport, they rushed her to a clinic, but as the MFJ state, Uganda is ” a country with widespread poverty and limited medical facilities (and) they were unable to get the medical attention Jackie needed.”

The MFJ statement continued “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.”


READ MORE about today’s Protests and see the moving pictures from today’s protests calling for Theresa May’s resignation: 

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 8.17.45 PMTheresa May is the British Conservative politician who is the current Home Secretary. She was first elected to Parliament in 1997 as the Member of Parliament for Maidenhead. She went on to be appointed Chairman of the Conservative Party in 2002 and was sworn of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

Murder of Ugandan lesbian deportee at the hands of UK authorities, Reliance Security and Qatar Airlines

U.K. Activists demand justice

By Melanie Nathan, March 14, 2013.




@ UKBA HQ, Lunar Hse – 12.30pm
Thursday 21st March
40 Wellesley Road, Croydon CR9 2BY
Short walk from West Croydon and croydon bus station
To meet & walk there together be @ West Croydon Station: 12 to leave at 12.15 sharp
SEE JACKIE’S Friends at previous protest speaking about what happened to her and the plight of UK detainees:
Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 3.25.02 PM

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19 Comments on “Protestors call for UK Home Secretary to resign after deported Ugandan lesbian dies”

  1. GALA Uganda March 15, 2013 at 2:01 AM #

    Its so bad to see that such brutality can be witnessed in a country like the UK. We regard The UK as one of the civilized countries in the world. For such a incident to happen in this era its regrettable. We thanks those who brought the matter in the light as we wouldn’t have known about it.
    There are so many of us who don’t disclose our selves to others for the fear and i know Jackie was one of us.

  2. Moses Walusimbi Da Nice March 15, 2013 at 9:41 AM #


    • Melanie Nathan March 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM #

      Thank you Moses for your support and readership.

  3. Simon Thornhill March 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM #

    If the details of this brutal & inhumane case of abuse at the hand of the UKBA employed security services Reliance can be evidenced Then we can only draw one conclusion not only must Therese May resign with immediate effect But a transparent and un biased investigation must be launched to enable a legal prosecution to take place. This is simply inexcusable & indefensible! Regardless of whether or not Ms Jackie Nanyonjo had the right to remain in this country [it is not for me to comment] NOBODY deserves to be treated & abused in this way!
    I can only hope that justice is served and her memory is honoured by the perpetrators being brought to account under the full weight of the law including Theresa May who tonight will be desperately trying to distance her self from these appallingly tragic events! Try as you may Theresa that blood aint gonna wash off of yours hands so easily!

  4. Stephen King March 18, 2013 at 3:51 PM #

    Theresa May is one nasty piece of work – she has no care for Lesbian and Gay Rights and has voted against them in Parliament in many cases – SHE SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE POSITION she is in and should have been sacked a long time ago after her long list of mess-ups in her recent past (in the professional life) – as a trial case she should be charged with having a hand in her murder along with the thugs who escorted Jackie out of the UK.

  5. miadotcom March 19, 2013 at 6:33 AM #

    This is disgusting. Theresa May is as bad as the people who attacked this woman. She knows exactly what sort of things happen to LGBT people in Uganda and she should be prosecuted as an accessory to the crimes committed by the people who killed Jackie Nanyonjo. Also the airline that carried her should be held responsible for enabling this.

  6. Sabrina March 19, 2013 at 7:02 AM #

    Makes me sick to my stomach. A formal enquiry needs to begin immediately. Theresa May shouldn’t even have had to be asked to resign, she should have chosen to resign out of respect for the poor woman whose life ended because of her inadequacy and inexcusable poor judgement. I don’t even know what to say…she has no clue and by not resigning, she is refusing to admit her poor judgement. My thoughts go out to Jackie and her poor family x

  7. Mugerwa James March 19, 2013 at 9:52 AM #

    Theresa dont resign, there were other people on that flight and i am sure they will give evidence if an inquest is called. 2. you cannot prove that there was no other supervening fault leading to her death, deport in jan and die in march. it is possible that she died of something else. i agree an inquest is necessary to be worked out with the ugandan government and hospitals she may have attended, but to say theresa should resign is beef for having deported a gay person. i am sure she was deported in accordance to the law. the security company should also be brought to order as well. jumping to theresa is sheer ignorance, malice at the best.

    • Melanie Nathan March 19, 2013 at 1:48 PM #

      James, you miss the point – jackie should never have been deported in the first place. He family also reports ill treatment while jackie was in detention in the UK. This is cumulative. if you read more on my blog you will see that there is a systemic attitude not to believe that Ugandans and other Africans are the subjects of persecution for being gay. People have had to go to extraordinary lengths to prove they are gay – like say what clubs they dance at for God’s sake! Most LGBTI I know from Africa hide their sexuality and do not put it on display making it really hard to prove they are GAY. The UK Govt. has promised not to deport these people and have gone back on their word. They need to find a better way to treat all these sensitive cases. It iis much more than jackie’s death – when we call for May’s resignation.

  8. Matovu Julius March 19, 2013 at 12:43 PM #

    Theresa May and her whole crew must be a very good example to the world of hipocrites who are homophobic at heart and on the outside pretend to be so touched. They deserve a fair judgement and she should respect the fact that herself and the whole crew are wrong and resign. This woman had a right to live. What did Theresa gain when she got to know the this woman is dead. I guess she is wine and dinning with her whole crew

  9. Hamja Ahsan March 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM #

    Theresa May also committed a horrible injustice against my brother – Talha Ahsan – as aspergers sufferer with the same associative risks as Gary Mckinnon. He is now in a US supermax prison in pre-trial solitary confinement where 50% of all suicides take place. She even boasted about this at her opening gambit at the Conservative Party conference “Wasn’t it great to say goodbye to those “four others”” . I support her sacking – maybe a coalition of all peoples to sack Theresa May – disabled people, civil liberties groups, Palestine activists, etc. :

  10. countessivana March 19, 2013 at 3:18 PM #

    Please can people use the correct legal terms. Where a refused asylum seeker is being returned to their country of origin, they are being removed. A deportation order is for a person who has been convicted of a crime in the UK and served time in prison before being returned to country of origin.
    Incorrect or inaccurate terms lead to confusion and misinformation.
    (Former RMJ asylum and immigration caseworker)

    • Melanie Nathan March 19, 2013 at 4:43 PM #

      The article is getting an enormous amount of attention in the UK. It was designed for my US audience who only relate to deport. The word “remove” in header would not have got the attention it deserved. I assume blogger’s license. To be clear, Jackie was not sent back for a crime. I will amend with alternative in body of post to be clear- Thank you.

    • Leigh Hamilton March 22, 2013 at 8:33 AM #

      No. Using euphemisms is exactly what this government wants – it reduces the obvious criminality of their disgusting decisions and makes them easier to slip under the net of public condemnation.


  1. Links: things to read and do | FeministPlus - March 25, 2013

    […] Now for the bad news: in case you haven’t heard, two women died in horrific circumstances this month.  Firstly, Jackie Nanyonjo.  She was deported to Uganda because, despite evidence from her partner, the UKBA didn’t believe that she was a lesbian.  She died, not due to violence when she arrived, but from the ‘security’ guards hired by the UKBA to control her on the plane.  More details here. […]

  2. Top 11 Articles of 2013 by O-Blog-Dee-O-Blog-Da | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - December 18, 2013

    […] Protestors call for UK Home Secretary to resign after deported Ugandan lesbian dies […]

  3. Life or Death to Save Lesbian Aidah from UK Deportation to Uganda Please Sign Now | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - May 21, 2014

    […] Protestors call for UK Home Secretary to resign after deported Ugandan lesbian dies […]

  4. UK About to Deport Ugandan Lesbian Defies New EU Landmark Ruling | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - December 3, 2014

    […] back to physically resist her deportation, an action which has led to harm and even death of a deportee in the past, but until then, on the 8th, she needs the world to fight for […]

  5. UK About to Deport Ugandan Lesbian Defies New EU Landmark Ruling | Daily Queer News - December 4, 2014

    […] back to physically resist her deportation, an action which has led to harm and even death of a deportee in the past, but until then, on the 8th, she needs the world to fight for […]

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