UK: Lesbian asylum seeker faces imminent deportation to Uganda

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An asylum seeker who claims she is at risk of homophobic persecution is due to be deported to Uganda on Tuesday evening.

Happy Rwehobuganzi, a lesbian from Uganda, has been seeking asylum in the UK.

Having been detained for 4 months and had several applications and appeals rejected by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and the High Court, on the grounds that there is not enough “evidence” to prove that she is a lesbian, Ms Rwehobuganzi is now facing deportation back to the violently homophobic country, with her flight due to leave at 8pm, Tuesday 18 June.

Human rights campaigners are desperately seeking for the deportation ordered to be halted and have cited the case of Jackie Nanyonjo, a lesbian asylum seeker who died earlier this year in Uganda following her deportation back to the country on 12 January.

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.

Human rights activists have repeatedly accused the UK Border Agency 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.

Research published in April from the University of Southampton showed LGBT asylum seekers are regularly being asked “inappropriate and insensitive” questions by immigration judges.

One lesbian seeking asylum from homophobic persecution in Uganda was asked by a judge whether she’d ever read Oscar Wilde.