Ugandan lesbian’s asylum appeal rejected because she didn’t read gay magazines

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A lesbian asylum seeker who was granted a last-minute reprieve from deportation to Uganda was denied the right to remain in the UK because she didn’t own magazines or other literature relating to her sexuality, it has been revealed.

Brenda Namigadde, 29, was due to fly from Heathrow at 9:20 pm on Friday evening and was already on board the aircraft when an injunction stopping the deportation was granted.

The deportation was to take place little more than 48 hours after the prominent Ugandan LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights campaigner David Kato was violently murdered.

The blog Political Scrapbook claims to have seen documents from her first-tier tribunal immigration judge.

“The Appellant appears to have taken no interest in forms of media by magazines, books, or other information relating to her sexual orientation,” the judge is claimed to have said, adding: “While there is no requirement to do so it does seem strange … that she has not done so.”

The full text of his judgement is repeated below:-

“I find that the Appellant was not and is not, on the evidence before me, a lesbian. l End that her credibility is affected by her conduct. l am not obliged to accept her say so of these issues. l find such peripheral information to describe what went on, either in Uganda or in the United Kingdom, very generalised and quite simply lacking in the kind of detail and information of someone genuinely living that lifestyle. The Appellant claims to have freedom to live a life unconstrained and without prejudice. l find the information as to how she has done so over the lengthy period she has been in the United Kingdom singularly lacking in detail or coherence. The Appellant appears to have taken no interest in forms of media by magazines, books or other information relating to her sexual orientation. Whilst there is no requirement to do so it does seem strange, if she is exercising the real sense of freedom she claims, that she does not do so.”

Ms Namigadde’s solicitor, Alex Oringa, said that she will be taken back to Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire pending a hearing in the High Court on Wednesday.

Earlier, the shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter expressed his “grave concern” over the proposed deportation of Ms Namigadde who lives in his Hammersmith constituency.

“Whatever the circumstances surrounding Ms Namigadde’s presence in Britain, it is clear that she cannot be deported to Uganda at present,” he said.

“Both the public mood and the official stance towards homosexuals in Uganda are lethal at the moment – we should not be contemplating sending my constituents back to a society where she will be in grave danger of her life.

“I call upon Damian Green [the immigration minister] to intervene personally to halt this deportation immediately and suspend the removal notice against my constituent, until we can find a resolution to this case that does not involve sending Ms Namigadde to face certain persecution and possible death.”