Home Office protest to take place over deportation of Nigerian lesbian asylum seeker

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A protest against the deportation of a lesbian asylum seeker to Nigeria will take place on Friday outside the Home Office in central London.

Campaigners warn Apata Adejumoke, 46, is at risk of homophobic persecution if returned to the country which in January strengthened its laws against same-sex sexual activity.

She claims her girlfriend was murdered in the country and fears the same fate.

The group Movement for Justice (MFJ) said Adejumoke was subject to homophobic torture, persecution, and brutal arrest in Nigeria.

Her case has been subject to judicial review at the High Court.

The Home Office protest is set to begin on Friday 11 April at 2pm on Marsham Street.

A separate protest is also planned for the UK Visas and Immigration office in Union St, Liverpool.

More than 24,000 people have signed a petition against her deportation.

Last week, Conservative MP Crispin Blunt and Labour MP Pamela Nash strongly criticised the Home Office over its handling of LGBT asylum cases.

During a House of Commons debate on how the UK should promote LGBT rights in Uganda, Ms Nash commented on the case of a lesbian asylum seeker who was deported to Uganda last year.

Jackie Nanyonjo died in the country after months of declining health.

She had been forced into hiding following her return to Uganda.

Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, who served as prisons minister until September 2012, welcomed last month’s announcement by Home Secretary Theresa May of a review into the handling of LGBT asylum cases.

During the debate he said: “That review is long overdue. The commitment to give refuge to LGBT people seeking asylum from oppression in their own country was in my party’s manifesto, as well as in that of the Liberal Democrats. Given that both parts of the coalition supported it, it should have been in the programme for government.”

Mr Blunt added: “The disgraceful stories of how the UK Border Agency has handled some of these cases in the past few years are now, happily, a matter of public record and have caused the Home Secretary to take this extremely welcome action.”

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Barker called on the government to condemn and stop the “shockingly degrading” treatment of LGBT asylum seekers by Home Office caseworkers, following publication of a leaked report in February.

The report showed LGBT asylum seekers continue to face abusive, degrading “interrogations” about their sex lives.