UK: Campaign started to stop deportation of Ugandan lesbian asylum seeker
A campaign has been started to halt the deportation of a Ugandan lesbian asylum seeker who was told she could no longer work with children when she came out as gay.
The petition, by Out and Proud Diamond Group African LGBTI, claims Joan Tumwine was not given a fair opportunity, with proper legal representation to present her case, and that she is currently detained, due to be deported on Friday.
Ms Tumwine came to the UK in 2013 to work with Burton Youth For Christ, a Christian charity based on Burton-on-Trent.
On considering whether to come out, she said: “I studied each one of them and the way they used to talk about gay people was not good and that made me not trust them with my problems and not only that, being Christians they did not like gay people.”
She did not come out as gay, but when she attempted to seek asylum in the UK, she says the charity would not support her, and instead tried to remove from the UK, forcing a plane ticket on her.
The charity said it could not trust her to work with children because she is a lesbian.
On attempting to appeal to the court, Ms Tumwine says she was ill and had to see a doctor, but a judge hearing her appeal refused to adjourn the case. She is currently not represented by a solicitor, so the campaign is seeking anyone who will do pro bono work to help her.
Edwin Sesange, leader of the Diamond group told PinkNews: “If Joan could be treated like that in the UK how about if she is sent back to Uganda, the police should get to grips with these abusive actions of the people involved. The UK government should halt this deportation and release Joan immediately as these investigation are taking place. ”
The petition hopes to stop the deportation of Ms Tumwine, which is scheduled to take place on Friday.