A gay Ugandan asylum seeker is at risk of being deported from the UK.
The UK Border Agency wants to send Robert Segwanyi back to Uganda this Thursday, despite him previously being jailed and tortured in his home country.
Ugandan gay refugee John Bosco, who met Segwanyi before he was held in the Haslar detention centre near Portsmouth, said Segwanyi is terrified of being returned to his home country.
“It’s a really bad time for him and, as a gay Ugandan, I know how hard it is to be gay in Uganda as I was arrested and tortured by police,” Bosco said.
“Many people have been beaten by the public as soon as you have been labelled being gay. When I was deported by the British, you handed me back to government officers and this is what exactly happened to me. I was beaten up really badly.
“I was lucky that I had friends here in the UK who gave me some money which I used to bribe the police, but Robert doesn’t have many friends as he has not been here long enough to make friends and most of the time he has been in detention centres.”
The deportation threat comes despite a highly respected psychologist Professor Cornelius Katona saying he is gay and suffering post-traumatic stress disorder from his treatment in Uganda, and despite the backing of his local MP, Mike Hancock.
The UK Border Agency, in writing to Hancock, is standing by an immigration judge’s decision last year.
“Even if I am wrong regarding the Appellant’s homosexuality I see no reason to depart from the [then] current country guidance,” the judge stated.
This guidance being that “the evidence does not establish that in general there is persecution of homosexuality (sic) in Uganda”.
This country guidance was changed in February and now reflects the actual situation for gays in Uganda.
“When I met him face to face, it was obvious that Robert is gay. The way he was talking, the mannerism and mentioning some of Ugandan gay guys I from Uganda,” Bosco said.
“Robert told me what he has been through and from my experience I knew it did happen to him as it happened to me when people in Uganda came to know about my sexuality.”
The UK Border Agency is refusing to accept Bosco’s evidence, as new as well as other evidence on the deteriorating conditions for the LGBTI community in Uganda.
His campaigners claim he has been refused fair consideration of his case and are encouraging the UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, to re-examine his case and give him protection in the country.
INFO: Sign the petition at www.change.org/petitions/save-gay-ugandan-robert-segwanyi