A gay man has been removed from the UK and deported back to his native Uganda in what his supporters call an illegal act.
John “Bosco” Nyombi, 38, was due to be deported last week. He fears he will be persecuted on the grounds of his sexuality.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and gays caught by the police can face a life sentence in prison.
Mr Nyombi, who has been employed in the UK as a mental health worker since 2002, was taken to Heathrow Airport yesterday afternoon for deportation.
“We had a phone call lasting for 12 minutes and 28 seconds to speak with Bosco in Tinsley detention centre,” his supporters said.
“He said he was “terrified” and sounded low although he said he had been praying at the Chapel since there was little else to do there.
“The Legal Team explained that this is an illegal act of the UK Border Agency system and have tried to expedite his case through to prevent his deportation but perhaps there were “administrative problems” with the timing.
“If Bosco does arrive in Uganda he is in danger.”
Mr Nyombi’s pleas for asylum have been reported in Ugandan newspapers.
The Ugandan President spoke of his country’s “rejection” of homosexuality during a speech he gave at the wedding of a former MP’s daughter earlier this year.
Mr Museveni said the purpose of life was to create children and that homosexuality was a “negative foreign culture.”
During his time in office LGBT Ugandans have been repeatedly threatened, harassed or attacked. Many have fled the country.
The plight of Uganda’s gay men and lesbians has been highlighted recently, with high profile asylum cases such as Prossy Kakooza championed by Peter Tatchell and LGBT equality groups.
Many gay asylum seekers are being deported from the UK on the premise that they can continue to pursue their sexuality in the native land if they act “discreetly.”
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission said:
“In the past five years, the government has arrested LGBT people on sodomy charges, harassed LGBT human rights defenders, and fined a private radio station that broadcast programming on HIV prevention and men who have sex with men.
“In July 2005, Uganda’s Parliament passed an amendment to the constitution making Uganda only the second country in the world to use its constitution to outlaw marriage between people of the same sex.
“A coalition of religious leaders has marched through the streets of Kampala demanding the arrests of LGBT people with one cleric even calling for the “starving to death” of homosexuals.
“Inspired by the official homophobia of the state, the Ugandan media has published lists of gay men and lesbians, leading to physical violence, loss of employment and educational opportunities by LGBT people.”