This Ugandan could be deported after 'failing to prove he's gay'

  • Posted on: 14 March 2017
  • By: Sanyu FM

Abbey Kyeyune attends an event in Manchester, England

 

A gay Ugandan-born asylum seeker is facing deportation to his place of birth, where homosexuality is punishable by life imprisonment. Abbey Kyeyune, who has been living in the Manchester since 2014, told The Independent Home Office officials decided he had failed to sufficiently “prove” his sexuality.

He fled Uganda after his family members discovered that he was having a relationship with another man, and became physically violent towards him. After leaving Uganda, Mr Kyeyune was told that the Ugandan authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest. He also discovered that his boyfriend had been arrested and detained because of his sexuality. Mr Kyeyune is being detained at Campsfield House, and is due to be deported on a flight to Uganda on Monday. He said he could not return to his family, and had no other friends that he could stay with in his native Kampala. "I can’t go back home, because my family will kill me”, Mr Kyeyune said. “I have been very happy in Manchester. I have many friends there, and I have been going to church a lot.”

The Home Office has previously claimed that a lesbian woman could not be gay because she had children, while a bisexual man has said he felt compelled to submit intimate photos of himself to help prove his case. Updated guidance on LGBT asylum claims was recently published by the Home Office, which forbids “detailed questioning in regard to sexual practices” and requests for “sexually explicit evidence”.  However, Mr Kyeyune’s Home Office interview occurred before this new guidance was in place.

In February, the Home Office was criticised after it suggested deported gay men could live safely in Afghanistan if they “pretended to be straight”. Philip Jones, who started a Change.org petition to stop Mr Kyeyune's deportation, and runs a support group for LGBT asylum seekers in Manchester, said Mr Kyeyune had a strong support network in Manchester.

“When he first started coming to the meetings, he was a bit quiet and subdued. I think, because of how he’d been treated at home, he found it difficult to get over the shock of having to flee.“

Photo Credit: Abbey Kyeyune

Read more: The Independent