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Interview: Branded a liar by UK authorities, the Ugandan lesbian outed in a national newspaper

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  1. Jennie Kermode 9 Jun 2011, 4:45pm

    The usual caution applies here, and once again the Home Office are dodging the truth of the matter. It doesn’t matter whether Betty is a lesbian or not – if she is _believed_ to be a lesbian then her life will be at risk in Uganda.

  2. This is just awful. I was nearly in tears at this poor woman’s story.
    We need to do something, we can’t sit around like this anymroe and allow others to be hurt and oppressed in this way.

  3. I can’t imagine anyone would want to put themselves through this mental anguish, a form of torture in itself. Shame on the Home Office. What if she is returned and murdered because of who she is? Then the Home Office will have blood on its hands and every gay man and woman who supports it. What if she’s not playing the system? Has anyone asked themselves that very question?

    Why would anyone coming from a country like that put themselves in such an awful position knowing they will probably face deportation from the UK regardless, to say nothing of the possible fateful outcome this poor woman could face. What if she’s not playing the system. If she is deported and ends up serving a harsh jail sentence, torture or execution, the Home Office and every gay man and woman who support repatriation for this woman, will be complict.

  4. HelenWilson 9 Jun 2011, 5:59pm

    Its an absolute joke for Nick Clegg to say the government are not going to deport LGBT asylum seekers, only for the Home Office, Boarder Agency and Immigration service to get around it by refusing to accept LGB peoples sexuality.

    The ConDem government just lie through their back teeth on this issue.

    1. de Villiers 9 Jun 2011, 6:11pm

      This is not a political issue. The same has happened for years. Although Ministers can make pronouncements, those further down the chain take some time before shifting their thought processes. It is the same with every state agency.

    2. Dave Page 9 Jun 2011, 7:22pm

      Don’t be stupid. The UKBA are claiming she’s not a lesbian. If that’s the case, then the Lib Dem-inspired rules against deporting LGBT people to persecution don’t apply. She needs to convince UKBA she’s a lesbian, and then they must comply with Government policy.

      This is a far cry from Labour, where we saw, among many other cases, gay men deported to Iran where there was no doubt about their sexuality, or that the Iranian authorities had threatened to kill. Labour’s Home Secretaries merely told them to “be discrete”.

      I know people who work in immigration services and now every asylum seeker will claim to be LGBT and at risk of persecution, to avoid deportation. They have a hard time implementing the Government policy, and I don’t envy them. Obviously there is a problem in Betty’s case and there’s a petition to put pressure on for it to be reviewed. But if that review does go through, she has hope thanks to the Lib Dems, where she had none under Labour.

  5. Given Uganda’s track record on ANY kind of human rights,let alone the rights of LGBT people this current ‘government’ is in danger of being ‘branded’ liars,(so what’s new?),on the issue of not deporting assylum applicants who are in danger of persecution/execution purely on the basis of their sexuality! SHAME on Britain if we fail to act!

  6. Does she have other options.. like emigrating to Canada??

  7. A shocking indictment of our supposedly ‘civilised’ country.

  8. Dan Filson 9 Jun 2011, 6:32pm

    I am really concerned that the UK Borders Agency under its remit to keep immigration as low as possible is handling these cases insensitively. How can they know how to investigate?

    In another notorious case earlier this year, they tried to ask what London clubs someone went to and what magazines they bought, obviously not realising that not all lesbians are Soho clubbers or mag buyers.

    Obviously there are those who claim asylum falsely but it is stretching things a bit to imagine someone would do so and back their claims by deliberately branding themselves with a hot iron.

    The onus should be on the UKBA to demonstrate – not just assert – the claim is false when there is prima facie evidence of physical harm.

    What has her MP contributed, or was she intercepted before she left the arrival airport? Who speaks for those not yet cleared from immigration control?

  9. GayWebHosting 9 Jun 2011, 7:04pm

    Disgusting practice. Some things never change. This has been going on for years.

    Please help. I have signed the petition. Please, all of you do the same… Imagine if it were YOU?

  10. The UKBA is taking a lot of flak in these comments. However, it is simply enacting government policy. To say that the Coalition Government is desperate to protect gays and lesbians but the nasty people in UKBA are still deporting people who will be put to death when they go to their home countries is wrong. Theresa May, who freely admits she was previously wrong in her views towards homosexuality, made very grand statements about ending the deportation of gay people. However, despite this, nothing had changed from the previous government. Gays and lesbians will still be deported. The proud claims from May 2010 were simply a poor attempt to convince the gays that the Tories had changed and now loved the gays. If there was a real political will within government to truly look into these cases then the UKBA would follow that. There is no political will. The Tories are deeply anti-immigration. They believe all asylum seekers are liars who will do anything to stay in this land of plenty.

    1. The UKBA gets the flak because it is the UKBA who have to implement the policies and if they are wrongly excluding legitimate asylum seekers they should not pass the buck onto HMG.

  11. Jock S. Trap 10 Jun 2011, 8:18am

    This is shameful.
    There are so many in this country that shouldn’t be here but seem to get away with too much and this one very brave woman, one of the most deserving is denied?
    How can we justify that?
    She clearly would be an asset to our society and any local community.
    Betty is clearly in need of our help.
    To be so blatant in cruelty is just inhumane.
    Give the woman the chance she deserves.

  12. We were a civilised country but since the Iraq war and every subsequent intervention we are hated like the americans under bush. Some idiot ran over a kid left her for dead but he is allowed to stay

    This is one backwards country

    1. No relevance whatever to this story

  13. Shocking and very sad. I think all foreign aid to Uganda should cease and desist until they can prove that they have serious antidiscrimination and hate crimes laws that are enforced in that horrible barbaric ignorant country.

  14. It would be helpful to have a link to the UKBA side of the story, i.e. the judgement of the relevant tribunal, so that it can be critiqued.

    1. Dan Filson 10 Jun 2011, 2:23pm

      Has there been any tribunal? – there’s no mention of one in the story so far as I can see. One of the problems with these cases is there’s a lot less transparency than for a burglar remanded for trial by a magistrate’s court and tried openly in a crown court. Perhaps an asylum seeker mightn’t want greater transparency but it does make it very hard to try to judge what ‘facts’ look shaky. Fundamentally how can the UKBA assess conditions in a country they’ve never visited and whose cultural norms they don’t know. And on whom really should the onus for proving the need for asylum fall? If a country is known to be homophobic and there’s evidence of physical injury, doesn’t that shift the onus quite some way onto the UKBA to show she ISN’T at risk (or is falsely claiming to be a lesbian)? And if someone is stated, not least by herself, to be a lesbian isn’t a factor to take into account given the risks attaching even to those stated to be lesbians whether actually so or not.

    2. paul canning 10 Jun 2011, 5:30pm

      Oh, we will be doing that on LGBT Asylum News! In the meantime, see our dissemblance of their case against a gay Tanzanian

  15. paul canning 10 Jun 2011, 5:29pm

    This is the sort of treatment UKBA gives to gay asylum cases:
    · another lesbian Ugandan
    · a gay Tanzanian

  16. We have to stand up and fight for our rights and take it to the streets until we get our equal and Civil Rights. Fight to be free and free other gays who are oppressed and attacked and harmed by religious hate and ignorance.

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