UK: Green Party LGBT group criticises UK Border Agency following death of lesbian Ugandan asylum seeker Jackie Nanyonjo

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The Green Party’s LGBT campaign group has criticised the UK Border Agency for deporting a lesbian asylum seeker who died last Friday in Uganda.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) deported Jackie Nanyonjo to the African country on 12 January even though she claimed she was at risk of homophobic persecution.

She had fought strongly against the deportation order and continued to resist the decision, becoming ill in the process, during her transit to Uganda’s Entebbe Airport.

Her health continued to deteriorate in Uganda and she passed away on 8 March.

In a statement the LGBTIQ Greens Group said: The LGBTIQ Greens Group wishes to express its anger at the UK Border Authority and Home Office at the news of the death last Friday of lesbian asylum seeker, Jackie Nanyonjo, following her deportation from Yarls Wood Detention Centre to Uganda in January. It is with grave concern that we note yet another asylum seeker’s death in the process of being deported back to their country of origin.”

Siobhan MacMahon Green Party spokesperson said: “We demand an immediate amnesty for all LGBTIQ people seeking asylum and appeal to the Home Office to ensure safe haven and refugee status for LGBTIQ people fleeing persecution from violently homophobic and transphobic countries.”

She added: “We also demand an urgent review of how failed asylum seekers are returned to their home country, especially the use of dangerous forms of restraint, and a moratorium on all such deportations until these processes are changed.

“Furthermore, we support activists and others working to change attitudes and legislation in their home countries. Jackie Nanyonjo is not the first LGBTIQ asylum seeker to be deported to her death, and is sadly unlikely to be the last.”

Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary (MFJ) has arranged for a protest to take place outside the Home Office in Westminster, central London, from 12.30pm on Thursday 14 March in response to the death of Jackie Nanyonjo and the actions of UKBA.

It is being supported by the LGBTIQ Greens Group.

MFJ has repeatedly accused UKBA of trying to deport LGBT asylum seekers back to countries where they face homophobic persecution – the claims have always been denied by the Home Office and UKBA.

Gay people continue to face physical attacks and social rejection in Uganda.

In 2011, activist David Kato was beaten to death but police denied this was related to his sexuality.

The Ugandan Parliament is considering legislation aimed at increasing penalties for homosexual acts.