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Gay Ugandan asylum seeker Robert Segwani spared deportation, for now

Robert SegwaniGay Ugandan Robert Segwani has been spared deportation at the last minute and returned to detention. Thank you if you signed the petition we told you about the other day, but Robert isn’t out of danger yet. Joe Mirabella reports:

Robert was spared from deportation at the very last minute according to his friend and fellow gay Urandan refugee John Bosco, “[Robert] is back in the detention centre waiting to hear what’s next.  He had 5 escorts up to the plane, and as he was about to board the plane the Home Office stopped his deportation.  He is very tired and stressed since he has not been sleeping well.  He is in pain.”

John Bosco told me on the phone that Robert has not been eating well and that he was considering suicide, “Since last Friday, when he was given the deportation notice he stopped eating. He threatened to kill himself, because he has had enough,” said Bosco.

More than 3,500 people signed Paul Canning’s Change.org petition asking the Home Office to grant Robert Segwanyi asylum in the UK.

Update, 8/9/2011: Have received an email from LGBT Asylum News saying, “Last night Robert was released from detention. Although we (and Robert) don’t yet know why he was released, those of us who work with LGBT asylum seekers know that this is a good sign, that it is extremely likely that his case will eventually be accepted.”

URGENT! Gay Ugandan asylum seeker faces removal tomorrow – please sign a petition

Gay Ugandan Robert faces being forced to leave the UK tomorrow (Thursday 18 August). Please sign this petition to try to prevent this.

LGBT Asylum News reports:

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.

e-petition on evolution

The British Humanist Association is sponsoring a petition on the Government’s new website, calling for the teaching of evolution to be mandatory in all publicy-funded schools, and to stop the teaching of creationism and “Intelligent Design” being taught as scientific theories.

To sign the petition, click here.

New math(s)

At last night’s meeting, somehow the conversation got around to maths (“math”, to our American friends) and a report that too many kids are incapable of working out fractions or percentages when they leave school, and that maths teaching should be changed. One of us remembered this Tom Lehrer song, which makes maths sound like fun.

Science chat and beer

Deviating a little from our third Tuesday of the month, and having an event on the penultimate Tuesday of the month, in a vain attempt to avoid some summer holidays. I’ll also reveal what the event photo is.” John Benton.

Steiner schools “repudiate” their founder’s racist beliefs to get state funding

Francis Gilbert of the Local Schools Network reports that those who want to open Steiner schools at public expense through Gove’s free school system are keen to “repudiate” their racist roots.

They present themselves today as trendy, progressive schools who welcome parents with alternative views. However, what they keep well hidden is their loony mystical beliefs. Steiner founded a philosophy called “Anthroposophy”, a sort of mystical mish-mash of ideas which includes the concept that the human race are “evolving” through the different races, with black people being “of childhood”, Asians “degenerate” and white people, of course, being the apogee of the evolutionary tree. Many Anthroposophists teach at Steiner schools today — and certainly form the bulk of their teacher trainers — and greatly admire Steiner.

Today, the Department for Education and Skills is interviewing the people who want to open such a school in Frome. If they get the go-ahead it will give the green light to others, inclduing the people who want a Steiner school in Suffolk. We’ll be talking about this at our September meeting.

August newsletter out now

SH&SNews Aug 2011The latest newsletter is here now for you to download.

Features on climate change, the Girl Guides and God, the possibility of a Steiner free school in Suffolk, plus book reviews and a book quiz, not forgetting our programme for the next three months.

Why not print a couple of copies for your friends?

Click here to download now. For help with PDF files, click here.

Jesus he knows me!

Touch the screen, touch the screen!


Phil Collins & Genesis, from the album ‘We can’t dance’, 1991.

More on the proposed “ecology” free school based on Steiner principles

Fullfledge logoSince our post on the proposed Fullfledge free school in Suffolk, our supporter and correspondent Esther Fidler has met some of the people who plan to set up this school, and has blogged about their lack of qualifications or credible objectives. On the influence of Steiner’s ideas and the responses she got to her questions, Esther wrote,

I began to get the impression that knowledge, unless gained specifically from a (possibly unqualified) class teacher was not encouraged; the idea of a mystical, esoteric belief system based upon reincarnation and karma being the foundation of a school which does not encourage finding out information through books, TV or the internet was beginning to make me feel distinctly uncomfortable. 

Humanists welcome Queen’s praise for persecuted gay atheist

From George Broadhead of the Pink Triangle Trust, news of the Queen’s visit to Bletchley Park, where she praised the work of Alan Turing and those who worked with him. The IHEU reports:

Humanists have warmly welcomed the Queen of England’s praise for the gay atheist Alan Turing, whose work breaking German codes played a crucial role in World War II. The creator of the modern computer, Turing received little recognition for his work during his life, which ended when he committed suicide after he was convicted of a homosexual act and forced to undergo chemical castration.