As previously reported, Robert Segwanyi was about to board a plane to Uganda when there was a last minute decision to cancel his deportation. He has now been allowed to submit a fresh claim for asylum. The hearing will be on 2nd October.
Tagged: Ugandan gays
Ugandan gays aren’t the only ones facing persecution (see last posts). There’s a climate of fear for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across Africa. The Pink Triangle Trust released this news briefing in January:
THE SITUATION FOR LGBT PEOPLE IN AFRICA “GOING FROM BAD TO WORSE” SAY GAY HUMANISTS
Following the latest example of virulent homophobia in Ghana, the UK gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) says that the situation for LGBT people in Africa is going from bad to worse.
A government minister in Ghana has called on the country’s intelligence services to track down and arrest all gays and lesbians. The call has come from Paul Evans Aidoo, the minister for the Western Region of Ghana. Mr Aidoo, a staunch Roman Catholic, said: “All efforts are being made to get rid of these people in society.” He called for the Bureau of National Investigations to round up gays and called on landlords and tenants to inform on people they suspect of being homosexual. “Once they have been arrested, they will be brought before the law.”
The move by Mr Aidoo has drawn support from other politicians, including the general secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC) who declared “Homosexuality is abhorrent. Media discourse across the world is being dictated by the vulgar opinions of homosexuals. Ghana and probably Africa cannot sustain the menace of homosexuals.”
This development follows months of campaigning by the Christian Council of Ghana which last week called on Ghanaians not to vote for any politician who believes in the rights of homosexuals. Both Christians and Muslims in the region have been protesting since a local media report claimed there were around 8,000 gay men and lesbians in the district. It is the latest in a series of expressions of officially condoned homophobia across the continent, notably in Malawi and Uganda.
Homosexual acts are criminalised in 38 African countries.
Gay 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.”
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.
Mourners at murdered Ugandan gay activist David Kato’s funeral were shocked when the presiding Anglican pastor, Thomas Musoke, called on homosexuals to repent, or “be punished by God”, but maybe it’s impossible to find a Ungandan pastor who isn’t ignorant and prejudiced?