28 year old Edson Cosmas.
A Tanzanian man is fighting for asylum in the UK after authorities refused to accept evidence that he is gay and detained him.
According to Paul Canning from LGBT Asulum News, 28 year old Edson Cosmas is an openly gay man who was disowned and sent to the UK by his family after he was attacked at a club for being gay.
His father also allegedly threatened to kill him when his sexual orientation came to light.
Cosmas’ visa expired and he requested asylum earlier this month. He fears for his life if he returns to his homeland where he could also be jailed for 30 years for being gay.
After going to a Home Office branch in Croydon to submit his asylum application, he was detained and taken to Harmondsworth detention centre.
Officials have refused to accept that he is gay, in part because Cosmas was unable to accurately remember the acronym for the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group and didn’t get the correct dates for London and Brighton Pride.
Eleven witness statements about his sexuality, including a past boyfriend’s, were dismissed, as was his membership of pro-gay activist groups in the UK.
“If I am sent back to Tanzania,” Cosmas told The Independent on the phone, “I am facing being beaten, or death. The immigration officials told me that they didn’t believe me; I said to them, I am the one that has lived in Tanzania, not you, so how can you tell me whether this is true or not?”
Another hearing on Cosmas’ asylum application will be held today.