Ugandan lesbian asylum seeker wins the right to remain in Britain

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A lesbian asylum seeker, who faced deportation to Uganda, has won the right to remain in the UK.

Campaigners warned that Harriet Nakigudde, 30, risked persecution and imprisonment if returned to Uganda.

The Home Office had attempted to deport Ms Nakigudde, dismissing her testimony and rejecting the fact that she’s gay.

A previous failed attempt to deport the 30-year-old in May resulted in her collapsing whilst boarding a plane.

The stress of her legal fight has taken its toll on Ms Nakigudde. She has lost weight and suffered from ill health, having been detained at the Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre for several months.

On Thursday, the African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group (OPDG) announced that an immigration judge had ruled in Ms Nakigudde’s favour.

“I am so happy, so relieved and over the moon,” Ms Nakigudde told “At last I have my freedom and I can live my life.

“I am so happy that the judge believed me because the Home Office representative was trying to make me out as a liar.”

Ms Nakigudde added: “I would like to thank everyone that has supported me. I would like to thank PinkNews, the Out and Proud Diamond Group, and all of the public for helping me.”

In a statement to PinkNews, OPDG Director Edwin Sesange said: “We are grateful that the independent immigration judge has given Harriet fair justice, which was denied before, and has accepted her asylum application in the UK as a lesbian who would face persecution if returned back to Uganda.

“We thank everybody that has given Harriet support, including PinkNews, our legal team and the British public at large.

“And we urge the UK Government to continue offering protection to LGBTI asylum seekers.”

PinkNews understands the Home Office is unlikely to appeal today’s decision.

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.

Following an appeal, Uganda’s highest court could decide on Friday the legality of the Anti-Homosexuality Act.