Ugandan lesbian asylum seeker and LGBT campaigner faces deportation on Sunday

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

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

Campaigners say Margret Nazziwa fled Uganda in 2012 after experiencing persecution because of her sexual orientation.

It’s claimed she was forced into a heterosexual marriage, was a victim of rape, and tortured by her community and the Ugandan authorities.

In a statement, Ms Nazziwa said: “I am privileged to be in the United Kingdom where I live an openly lesbian life and campaign for gay rights without any fear of being persecuted.

“If I am deported back to Uganda I will face imprisonment and persecution and many other acts of violence against my person.”

She continued: “I will not be able to campaign for gay rights as I have been doing in the UK. I will not be able to live my life openly and freely, and my relationship with my partner will be broken.

“I beg the UK Government to offer me protection such that I can live my life without fear just like other people and continue to campaign in a peaceful and dignified manner for the rights of other persecuted peoples.”

Ms Nazziwais is currently being held at the Yarls Wood Detention Centre in Bedfordshire.

She is due to be deported to Uganda on Sunday 13 July at 8pm.

Her application for asylum is supported by her partner, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group, Metropolitan Community Church North London (MCCNL), Say It Loud Club, Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) and Rainbow Across Borders.

Human rights groups, MPs and lawyers have frequently documented alleged cases of the Home Office deporting LGBT asylum seekers back to countries such as Uganda where they face violence.

The claims have always been denied by the Home Office.

Uganda is notorious for its widespread homophobic persecution.

A Ugandan law further criminalising same-sex sexual activity, allowing repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison, was given presidential approval in February.