By Melanie Nathan, Oct 07, 2014.
Out and Proud Diamond Group and Richard M Asylum Seeker in the UK.
United Kingdom – Richard M. is a young Ugandan man who fled Uganda after being outed by Red Pepper Magazine. He was apparently falsely accused of promoting homosexuality in the schools. His subsequent asylum journey has been a typical roundabout of hell, exacerbating his abuse.
On arrival in the United Kingdom, instead of welcoming & protecting him, he was sent to detention center, and although his wounds were fresh, was accused of lying about his story. This is an all too familiar stance, taken by the Home Office, all too often when it comes to LGBT asylum seekers.
According to Richard, while he was in detention, he contacted the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group for support, UKLGIG which is supposed to help LGBTI asylum seekers in the UK. The UKGIG responded that they could not visit or help Richard because he was in detention and that was something they do not do. (We have not independently verified this with UKLGIG, at this time.)
According to activists in the United Kingdom this is a similar stance to he Medical Foundation for Care of Victims of Torture who support gay asylum seekers as long as they are not detained for an indefinite period of time. (The latter usually the case because lengths of detentions are unknown.)
Richard managed to get out of detention with the assistance of unfunded grassroots activists. Unfortunately, Richard’s case was dismissed. He appealed against the UK decision. After a long wait (over 2yrs) his appeal was listed and will be heard tomorrow, 8th Oct 2014.
While in limbo waiting, Richard joined the extraordinary Diaspora African LGBTI grassroots group, Out and Proud Diamond Groups (OPDG).
Abbey Kiwah an OPDG activist notes:
“I had a chance to speak to this young man and basically get to know him well. His story is no different from many shocking stories I have come across.
I will give evidence in regards to Richard’s case. I am aware the so called organisations which are put there to help people like Richard don’t, but rather use people like him to get funding. I will be accompanied by OPDG activists as we collectively believe that Richard’s blood is our blood and his enemies are our enemies. We know the victory is ours so help us God.”
Unfortunately what Abbey says is proving to be a common complaint in Europe, the UK and also the United States, amongst Asylum seekers and refugees, who often feel used and tossed aside by organizations who put them on display for speeches and story telling, using events that showcase these often traumatized LGBTI people for organizational fund raising. And all the while these very organizations have no regard toward the humanitarian needs of such LGBTI people. The benefit they receive from such organizations are rarely commensurate with the extent to which they are “used” by these groups.
Right now the members of OPDG, many of whom are devout i their faith are asking for your prayers and awareness to treat LGBTI asylees with sensitivity and care they so badly need.