Ugandan asylum seeker says publicity will put her life at risk
A Ugandan asylum seeker who was ordered to leave the UK says that publicity means her life will be at risk if returned to Uganda.
The woman, referred to as BN, initially claimed that she was a lesbian but a judge ruled that there was no evidence for this.
Although her supporters said she had a long-term relationship with a Canadian woman, the judge found that she could not remember the woman’s full name, age, occupation or other details.
She was also unable to describe a London lesbian bar which she said she went to regularly, the Sunday Times reports.
BN was ordered to be deported last month but won a last-minute reprieve.
Her new appeal does not claim she is a lesbian but says the publicity surrounding her case will put her life at risk because she will be perceived as a lesbian.
Ugandan society strongly disapproves of homosexuality and gay people have been attacked after being outed in newspapers.
According to the Sunday Times, the documents written by BN’s lawyers say: “The credibility of the applicant’s sexuality … is entirely irrelevant to the risk … that the applicant will face”.
They add: “The risk derives from a widespread national public perception of the applicant being homosexual.”
BN came to the UK in 2002. After overstaying her visa, she applied for asylum.
More than 70 MPs have signed an early day motion asking for her to be allowed to stay in the UK.
Her case has also attracted the attention of Ugandan MP David Bahati, who tabled Uganda’s gay execution bill.
He told a journalist that she could return home if she “repents” but will be punished if she does not.
Related topics: Africa