Kalanzi Marvin Richard
A protest is planned on Monday in London calling for the Netherlands to release and not deport an openly gay activist back to his homeland where he could be persecuted.
According to Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary, 24-year-old Kalanzi Marvin Richard lived openly and proudly as a gay man in Uganda, despite the abuse and threats he faced.
“His sexuality was a common knowledge in his country and anti-gay bigots campaigned for his arrest. As a result he was imprisoned, beaten and tortured,” reports the group.
Richard then fled to the Netherlands early in 2011 and applied for asylum. Despite reportedly acknowledging his plight as a gay man in Uganda, the Dutch government disputed his explanation of how he got into the Netherlands and refused his application.
After repeatedly refusing to sign a letter agreeing to his deportation he was imprisoned in Rotterdam Prison on 28 June last year and currently remains there.
“LGBT asylum seekers like Kalanzi must have the right to live openly and in safety; this is basic Human Right. Many people like Kalanzi are stuck in Dutch prisons as though they committed crimes: escaping from persecution is not a crime. Kalanzi must be free to live and love as who he is,” said Movement for Justice.
A petition calling for his release will be handed to the Dutch embassy on Monday.
Meanwhile, Behind the Mask reports that efforts to stop the deportation of another gay asylum seeker from the United Kingdom has failed.
Nigerian-born John Abraham was deported on Friday March 16, back to Nigeria.
Bisi Alimi, Coordinator of the Coalition of LGBT migrants in Europe, revealed that he had not heard from Abraham since he was sent home.
“I have not heard from him and that is even getting me worried. He was really emotionally down when he was speaking with me. He was not even crying, just choking with anger,” Alimi said.