John Bosco Nyombi

The British Home Office faces legal action after forcibly removing an asylum-seeker from the UK and returning him to Uganda, where he faced prosecution for being gay, while his case was still under review.

John Bosco Nyombi had a strong application for judicial review but was reportedly tricked by four security men and bundled onto a flight to Kampala in September 2008.

When he tried to resist and ask for a lawyer, the British removal officers allegedly dragged him by the handcuffs and struck him in the groin and shoulder.

“The last year has been torture. I’ve never done anything wrong and what the Home Office did was illegal. All the things I went through are because of them,” Nyombi said. In Uganda he was abandoned by the British men and forced to bribe border patrol to let him go.

Nyombi’s face apparently made front page news of the local Ugandan paper, branding him a “homosexual” along with a warrant for his arrest.

The former care-worker endured six months in hiding and was caught twice and put into prison where he was reportedly violently beaten by both staff and inmates because of his sexuality. The British Home Secretary eventually secured his release.

Deputy High Court judge, Sir George Newman, said the Home Office was guilty of “a grave and serious breach” of the law. The judge also ruled that Nyombi had been “deliberately misled” on the day of his removal.

Nyombi, who was known as “Mr X” while his lawyers fought to bring him back to the UK, has now won his asylum appeal and is back in Southampton staying with a friend. Once his immigration papers come through, his old job as a career in a local nursing home is waiting for him.

“Although I’ve had a rough time, I’ll never say it was Britain that did it to me, but always the Home Office. Without the friends I have here, I wouldn’t have survived,” said Nyombi.

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