An LGBT asylum seeker is facing deportation from the UK back to his home country of Uganda because he couldn’t “prove” he was gay.
Abbey Kyeyune fled Uganda in 2014 after his family discovered that he was having a relationship with another man and became physically violent toward him, an unfortunately common occurrence in a country where homosexuality is punishable by life imprisonment.
After leaving his home, Kyeyune was told that authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest and that his boyfriend had already been arrested and detained because of their relationship.
Kyeyune is currently being held at Campsfield House and is due to be deported on a flight to Uganda today.
“I can’t go back home, because my family will kill me,” Mr Kyeyune said. “I have been very happy in Manchester. I have many friends there, and I have been going to church a lot.”
The Home Office has faced considerable criticism for forcing LGBT asylum seekers to “prove” their sexuality before being granted refuge in the UK. Though the office installed new guidelines in August 2016 to curb this practice, the group landed in hot water once again this February when it suggested that deported gay men could live safely in Afghanistan as long as they “pretended to be straight.”
“LGBT asylum seekers are put in the impossible position of trying to ’prove’ their sexuality,” said Karen Doyle, spokesperson for the advocacy group Movement for Justice.
“Ask any UK-born LGBT person to remember the names of all the people they have slept with and dates, describe exactly the process of realizing that you are LGBT… it’s an impossible burden of proof for anyone to bear, let alone if you have suffered severe trauma and abuse because of your sexuality.”
“Decision makers see their job not as helping someone to tell a difficult story but to get that person to trip up, find the faults, make them anxious and ultimately to say no.”
A Home Office spokesperson told The Independent: “The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who genuinely need it, and every case is carefully considered on its individual merits.
”Where people establish a genuine need for protection or a well founded fear of persecution refuge will be granted. If someone is found not to need our protection, we expect them to leave the country voluntarily. Where they do not, we will seek to enforce their departure.”
To help prevent Kyeyune’s deportation, sign this petition.
For more on LGBT refugees, check out the Logo Global Ally video below.