A Ugandan lesbian has been given hope that her case for asylum in the US may yet succeed.
The Associated Press reports that Olivia Nabulwala claims to have been persecuted in her homeland because she is a lesbian – including being raped by a stranger as she was held down and watched by relatives.
Her case, in which she is seeking protection from this persecution by being allowed to stay in the United States, was recently given a boost thanks to a ruling by a federal appeals court.
The court rejected a previous ruling by an immigration judge – who said that she was not eligible for asylum because her abuse was not sanctioned by the Ugandan government -and has returned her case back into the immigration system.
While US immigration law allows for sexual orientation persecution as a basis for asylum, attempts to apply on the basis of these claims are thought to be rare – although there are no comprehensive official records of these kinds of cases.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and could lead to sentences of up to four years imprisonment. Should Nabulwala fail in her case she will be deported back to Uganda.