Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Exclusive

A trans Ugandan refugee had his neck cut and genitals pulled in broad daylight: ‘My life is in danger’

Josh Milton November 14, 2019
A trans refugee in the Kakuma Refugee Camp was brutally battered by a group of 'homophobic' persons' today. (Supplied)

A trans refugee in the Kakuma Refugee Camp was brutally battered by a group of 'homophobic' persons' today. (Supplied)

A group of homophobic people reportedly attacked a trans Ugandan refugee in broad daylight at a Kenyan camp, slicing his neck, punching him and then pulling on his genitals.

Fleeing to the Kakuma Refugee Camp hospital following the incident, the man received limited medical attention, he told PinkNews.

The man, who wishes to be anonymous due to threats for being trans, has since received treatment from a “rural clinic” and is in stable condition.

He explained how his “life is in danger” in the camp and is fearful not only for himself, but other queer refugees.

It was the latest incident in a spectre of violence against queer Ugandans, one where the landlocked country’s anti-LGBT laws have forced countless people to seek asylum in Kenya.

Wounded, trans man allegedly only given ‘paracetamol’ by camp medics. 

Kakuma, a small town in northwestern Kenya, is the site of one of the largest and most bustling refugee camps in the country.

While people seek safety there each year, huddling into plastic shelters and thatched roof huts, it is a “dungeon” to its LGBT+ refugees, the man said.

The camp is co-managed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Kenyan government and the Kenyan Department of Refugee Affairs.

Kakuma, a town in northwest Kenya. (PinkNews)
Kakuma, a town in northwest Kenya, is perched just by the Ugandan border. (PinkNews)

Along the dusty patch, the trans man told PinkNews that he was allegedly attacked in the afternoon by a group of “homophobic” people.

“I have gotten some injuries onto my neck because the attackers used a knife and cut me on the neck, punched me onto my stomach and squeezed my genitals,” he said.

Bleeding, the man went to the camp’s hospital for dressing and treatment. But claimed that medics did not tend to him, and instead only offered him “paracetamol”.

“I just went to the nearby rural clinic for the dressing,” the asylum seeker said.

Aid across the camp, from education to food, is serviced by different humanitarian relief groups. Health services are provided by the International Rescue Committee.

According to a UNHCR visitor’s guide, provided medical treatments are narrowed to “basic” services and drug availability “might be limited to the most essential.”

Trans asylum seeker: ‘My life is in danger’.

After his parents attempted to kill him, the man fled Uganda earlier this year to Kakuma.

“Officials here are reluctant to help,” the dreamer explained. “As long as you are LGBTI, you are not helped that much”.

“LGBTI persons are being abused daily” by fellow refugees and camp workers, the man claimed.

Ugandan LGBT+ refugees
Ugandan LGBT+ refugees in Kenya. (Sally Hayden/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

The issue of being undocumented, he said, has left many trapped: “We are facing a lot of difficulties and insecurities as LGBTI refugees.”

Refugees have regularly “threatened” him with violence for his gender identity, he claimed, and some have “mocked” and even “stoned” LGBT+ folk in the camp.

“We are all living in fear,” he said.

“My life is in danger.”

Why are queer Ugandans fleeing to Kenya?

Often rejected by their families, queer Ugandans are forced to flee and seek refuge in neighbouring Kenya.

Uganda, an east African country snarled by severe anti-LGBT legislation, has become a battleground for queer rights.

In the last few years, government officials have ramped up ruthless attacks on the community.

A supposed plan to introduce the death penalty on gay sex struck terror in Ugandan activists, who have said anti-LGBT violence has rocketed since.

LGBT+ refugees from South Sudan, Uganda and DR Congo walking to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Kenya to demand protection (YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty)

This year alone, queer Ugandans have been bludgeoned with machetes, had community centres mobbed only for LGBT+ staff to be arrested, a doctor crack the skull of a lesbian and a gay-friendly club raided leading to 127 LGBT+ people being arrested by army and police officers.

Embattled queer folk have fled to Kenya, but only this year did that country’s courts call to continue criminalising gay sex.

PinkNews have contacted the UNHCR and the IRC for comment.

More: refugee, Trans, transphobia, Uganda

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon