Sunday, 8 June 2008
Another gay asylum seeker to be sent back to torture or death
The Home Office wants to send another gay asylum seeker back to torture and possible death — and is again claiming that 'discretion' means they can do it.
Prossy Kakooza is a 26-year-old lesbian woman who fled Uganda after suffering vicious sexual, physical and verbal attacks due to her sexual orientation. She has an English Literature degree and would like to teach here.
Uganda's government is violently anti-gay, newspapers and religious groups are engaged in witch hunts and asylum campaigners have reported that returnees on arrival in Kampala have been immediately taken to a torture centre.
While in prison Kakooza was subjected to multiple rapes and branded with red hot meat skewers on her thighs by drunken police officers.
"I’m still receiving counseling at a rape crisis centre," she said.
"I have nightmares every night and I don’t think I will ever get over what happened to me."
Kakooza also said that she often thinks of her girlfriend, Leah, who remains in prison.
"I was lucky I got out. I can’t bear to think of what is happening to her there."
The Home Office has done this before to gay Ugandan torture victims.
For example, in 2005 Kizza Musinguzi who was jailed by the Ugandan government for his gay human rights work and subjected to four months of forced labour, water torture, beatings and rape faced the Home Office saying that the abuse he was subject to did not constitute persecution. In Harmondsworth asylum detention centre he was abused and denied medical treatment.
There is considerable evidence that asylum seekers have been subjected to severe physical abuse from contractors hired by Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith's Home Office.
UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group carries many harrowing stories of the UK's treatment of gay asylum seekers like Prossy. Most of those returned simply disappear to unknown fates. Others have committed suicide here rather than be returned.
Makes you proud to be British.