UK: Ugandan lesbian asylum seeker’s deportation postponed
The deportation of a Ugandan lesbian asylum seeker who said she was not given a chance to submit evidence to support her case, has been temporarily postponed.
A petition, by Out and Proud Diamond Group African LGBTI, said Joan Tumwine was not given a fair opportunity, with proper legal representation to present her case, and that she is currently detained and had been due to be deported on Friday.
Her plane ticket has now been cancelled, and she has been given five days to submit evidence.
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. ”