Gay Ugandan asylum seeker told to go home and live ‘discreetly’
A gay Ugandan man is fighting his case – after he was initially rejected for asylum on the grounds of his sexuality.
Uganda is one of the hardest countries in the world to be gay, with strong anti-LGBT vigilante violence, gay people facing life imprisonment under the law, and tabloid newspapers regularly outing “gay perverts”.
Ugandan-born asylum seeker Robert Kityo fled police abuse in the country, fleeing to the UK and settling in Manchester.
However, Mr Kiyoto is now battling to remain in the country, after his asylum application was rejected by the government, on the grounds that he would be safe living “discreetly” in Uganda.
According to the Manchester Evening News the asylum seeker – who volunteers at Manchester Pride and has links with LGBT groups across the city – was detained earlier this week, following the decision to reject his application.
As well as helping the LGBT Foundation, Mr Kiyoto is a member of the city’s gay Metropolitan Congregation of the United Reformed Church; a group for black LGBT people, Rainbow Noir; and has helped produce programmes for Gaydio – the city’s LGBT radio station.
However, the initial ruling found there was not enough evidence he would face discrimination in Uganda.
After a petition in support of Mr Kiyoto attracted nearly 2000 signatures, the decision was withdrawn, pending review – but the activist’s friends are fearful that another rejection will come.
Andrew Gilliver, Community Involvement Manager of the LGBT Foundation said: “Robert is a valuable and much respected member of our LGBT Foundation family and must be given leave to stay in the UK.
“For the last two years Robert has been an asset to all of our team throughout Greater Manchester by helping out at major events, attending conferences and volunteering at events to help and support other LGBT people.
“Robert is a wonderful, inspiring and dedicated volunteer who we are all very proud to work with.”