Abbey Kyeyune, Ugandan-born gay asylum seeker is facing deportation to Uganda, where homosexuality is punishable by life imprisonment.
Failing to prove sexuality:
Kyeyune has been living in the Manchester since 2014. He said that Home Office officials stated that he had failed to sufficiently “prove” his sexuality.
his family discovered he was having a relationship with another man, and became physically violent towards him, which led him to flee Uganda.
Kyeyune was told that the Ugandan authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest after he fled the country, and that because of his sexuality, his boyfriend had been arrested and detained.
He is being detained at Campsfield House with his deportation to Uganda set on Monday. He said he can’t return to his family and that he has no other friends that he could stay with in his native Kampala.
Kyeyune said: “I can’t go back home, because my family will kill me. I have been very happy in Manchester. I have many friends there, and I have been going to church a lot.”
Previously, the Home Office has claimed that a lesbian woman could not be gay because she had children. And a bisexual man has said had to submit intimate photos of himself to help prove his case.
The Home Office recently published an updated guidance on LGBT asylum claims. It forbids “detailed questioning in regard to sexual practices” and requests for “sexually explicit evidence”. Unfortunately, in Kyeyune’s case his interview occurred before this new guidance was in place.
Critics slammed the Home Office in February after it suggested that a deported gay men could live safely in Afghanistan if they “pretended to be straight”.
A Change.org petition to stop Kyeyune’s deportation was started by Philip Jones who runs a support group for LGBT asylum seekers in Manchester. He said that Kyeyune has a strong support network in Manchester.
He said: “When he first started coming to the meetings, he was a bit quiet and subdued. I think, because of how he’d been treated at home, he found it difficult to get over the shock of having to flee. “But I think he just needed to meet people like himself. And I got the sense that he was really coming to terms with the situation, and enjoying being a gay man amongst other gay men.”
Spokesperson for Movement for Justice, Karen Doyle, a support group for asylum seekers’ rights, said: “LGBT asylum seekers are put in the impossible position of trying to ‘prove’ their sexuality. Post-Brexit, the drive is to get immigration numbers down. That means deporting as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Decision makers see their job not as helping someone to tell a difficult story but to get that person to trip up, find the faults, make them anxious and ultimately to say no.”
A statement by a Home Office spokesperson read The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who genuinely need it, and every case is carefully considered on its individual merits. Where people establish a genuine need for protection or a well-founded fear of persecution refuge will be granted. If someone is found not to need our protection, we expect them to leave the country voluntarily. Where they do not, we will seek to enforce their departure.”