Many GAY people flee Africa in fear of their lives. We know they are persecuted, tortured and sometimes killed in their home countries, yet we fail to give them shelter and protection.
One such is Jackie Nanyonjo, who died after she was deported back to Uganda by the UK.
According to reports, she was injured on her flight back in a struggle with her guards, and later died from her injuries.
It is possible that she was too afraid to seek proper medical treatment, or that it was unavailable to her as an out lesbian.
Speaking to Ugandan activists today, I was informed that Jackie had not made contact with them in Uganda as she may have been too afraid, having already been exposed through the deportation process. In tandem with the reports, activists agree that Jackie was forced into hiding because she had been exposed as a lesbian and hence feared exposure and probably could not obtain the medical attention she needed. [Melanie Nathan: oblogdeeoblodgda]
Activists are understandably outraged that, despite promising to make it easier for persecuted LGBTI people to gain asylum in the UK, the system failed Jackie. A protest has been organised by the Movement for Justice:
The Movement for Justice is putting the UKBA on trial for Jackie’s murder. Jackie is by not the first person to die at the hands or through the actions of the UKBA but we want to make sure that she is the last. Justice for Jackie means above all exposing the UKBA before the Court of Public Opinion, challenging its power so that what happened to Jackie never happens to anyone else, and shutting down Yarl’s Wood detention centre. It means building the movement that Jackie joined, in Yarl’s Wood and other detention centres and outside, in our communities and on our campuses, and end the injustice of detention and deportation. Join us this Thursday at the demonstration and speak-out at the Home Office on Marsham Street, London SW1.
We need to do more there in Australia to open our doors to African LGBTIQ fleeing for their lives. See Ugandan gay rights page here http://www.facebook.com/groups/smug.2004/.