Aidah Asaba fears for her life in Uganda

There are frantic efforts under way to stop the imminent deportation of a young traumatised Ugandan lesbian woman who faces abuse and possible imprisonment and even death in her homeland.

A petition has been launched calling on the UK’s Home Office to not deport Aidah Asaba back to Uganda on Saturday. In October last year, Asaba fled harassment and persecution and sought refuge in the UK on the basis of her sexuality, which has been refused.

She is currently under immediate threat of removal to Uganda. Activists who are fighting to stop her deportation say that Asaba’s name and case have appeared in the Ugandan media and have come to the attention of the police and local authorities.

They argue that she will be an easy target for rape, torture and killing, either in prison or by a homophobic mob.

“I fear for my life if they will take me back to Uganda, my life has become worthless. I wish I wasn’t born; it is too much for me to bear. I cannot believe I am going to meet my death in Uganda because of my sexuality,” Asaba said, reports PinkNews.

“I am only praying for a miracle to happen such that I can live my life without fear of being persecuted or killed because of my sexuality. Please I beg the UK Government to help me.”

The UK Home Office does not believe that Asaba is a lesbian and has been accused of fast-tracking her deportation instead of giving her time to present evidence about her sexual orientation.

Her claims have been backed by LGBTI groups including Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and the Out & Proud Diamond Group. They say that Aidah’s removal deportation order needs to be withdrawn immediately so that she can finalise and submit a strong fresh asylum claim.

A protest is set to take place this afternoon (22 May) in front of the House of Lords in London calling on the authorities to stop the young woman’s deportation.

Despite repeated promises to review the UK’s asylum system when it comes to refugees from countries where sexual minorities face persecution, activists say that gays and lesbians continue to face unfair hurdles in proving their sexuality to the authorities.

In March last year, the UK Home Office was criticised after it deported Jackie Nanyonjo, a Ugandan lesbian who was ill, back to her homeland. She was reportedly detained on her arrival by the Ugandan authorities for hours, without medical attention. Vomiting blood and in pain she was eventually taken by family members to a clinic, where she died.

Sign the petition to stop Asaba’s deportation here.

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