Ugandan asylum seeker told to prove he’s gay

Naith Payton January 15, 2015
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John Ssenkindu says he had his asylum application denied because he failed to “prove” his sexuality.

Mr Ssenkindu is from Uganda, where being gay is illegal and can be punishable with life in jail. Vigilante justice is also common – people known to be gay have faced extreme violence.

He is a qualified teacher, currently living in Leicester and working as a volunteer for the Leicester LGBT centre. He says his family have rejected him for being gay, and he fears violence if he’s forced to return to Uganda.

He told the Leicester Mercury “It is not safe for me to return to Uganda.

“If I was to be sent back I would be arrested immediately because they would know why I had applied for asylum in the UK. It is a crime in itself to know that someone is gay and not to report them

“I have had the best time of my life here in Leicester, living as who I am without feeling any threat.

“The Home Office is asking me to prove that I am gay. How do you prove your sexual orientation?”

Paul Fitzgerald, chief executive of the Leicester LGBT Centre said: “Going back would mean persecution, imprisonment and, maybe, death for people like John because they happen to be gay.”

LGBT rights activist Frank Mugisha spoke in December to PinkNews about the situation in Uganda.

In November, a prominent activist was hospitalized following an attack by a homophobic mob.

Related topics: Africa, asylum, asylum seeker, Home Office, Uganda, Uganda

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