It was on 14th February 2014, when the Dutch Secretary Of State (Security and Justice) Mr. Fred Teveen made a promising statement to many LGBT asylum seekers from Africa specifically Uganda, Nigeria, Senegal among others when he promised to review on policies used by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization ministry since it is partly in his area of operation aftermath of the passage of the new draconian anti homosexuality laws in many African countries.
Ever since his pledge to do so, many of the LGBT persons who had fled their countries on grounds of persecution have been granted asylum and protection in the country.
A case can be sighted from the many members of our community which is really happy that many have been granted asylum ever since Mr. Teveen’s promise earlier this year.
“It is somewhat a good atmosphere now that we have to live our life for who we are as LGBT” said one of the UGOM members who have already been granted asylum to stay in The Netherlands recently this year.
Despite all this we can not forget that the struggle should continue so that our voices should be heard, many of our brothers and sisters are still in the struggle to have a free life as LGBT to love those they want, to have equal treatment just like the rest of the people, equal opportunities shared without any discrimination or bias based on sexual orientation and gender.
We have a long way to go in order to have our rights respected on our continent Africa and our motherland Uganda, says the chairman of UGOM Mr. Walusimbi Moses who is still waiting for his asylum request procedure in the Netherlands.
Many cases of LGBT persons from Uganda are still underway and their asylum requests not yet worked on but it is all about time and patience. We shall all be free since the Secretary of state made a promised on this.
We are so glad to these new developments as per Mr. Teveen’s promise.
Long live the King and the Queen of The Netherlands.
It is somewhat a good topic to think about. In fact a good question would be.
How is it like to be LGBT who is HIV/AIDS positive in homophobic countries like Uganda and Nigeria?
The fact that stigmatization of HIV/AIDS victims has from time to time been evident ever since its discovery in Africa in the early 1980s. A good example would be Uganda where many of families have at least lost a family member, a relative or a friend to AIDS. It should be remembered that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, in Uganda AIDS was seen as a curse spelt to any one by those who hate him or her. It was assumed to infect by body contact, breathing same air, drinking or eating from the same utensil among other beliefs that prevailed on the topic
It was not until around 1987 to 1990 when the late Ugandan Philly Bongole Lutaaya come out as the first HIV/AIDS victim to declare him self to have the HIV/AIDS virus and preaching for love to all those that had got infected and telling every one not to think that it is a shame to be infected. He is considered the first Ugandan and African to openly declare himself infected of the AIDS. It is such people that really brought a very big change in the way Ugandans and Africans thought about AIDS. He is remembered for his song “Alone and Frightened” which was in light of the AIDS scourge. In fact many learnt that one being infected did not mean the end of the world.
Despite all this effort, there was a section of people that were left out in this campaign and these are the LGBT community that was even much more marginalized on this matter.
It was really so terrible to be HIV positive because of the stigma that was brought into people due to lack of cure to this scourge and despite the fact that Philly had come out to preach love for all AIDS victims in order to get them out of the state of denial of which many still live with to this date, it was as if he was telling Ugandans to love only those that were straight and infected. It should be noted that during this time, also existed LGBT people who had got infected but due to isolation, discrimination and stigmatization of this community in Uganda in those days, no LGBT could come out and say he is LGBT and sick. It could give him or her double discrimination or segregation for being LGBT and infected with HIV/AIDS.
The fact that sensitization helped a lot for people to get much more informed about this matter with the help of the international community by use of donors money to carry out sensitization of the masses on the matter.
However it should highly be noted that all these programs target the heterosexuals simply because in the media only the propaganda was talking about safety strategies pinpointing out straight people. Many of the homosexuals feared much more to come out to have a word of advice on safety tips in this kind of arrangement since nothing was put under this package for them. This in a way increased the rate at which the HIV virus was spreading in the LGBT community in the country. It is even astonishing that the Ugandan government is still reluctant to realize the urge to bring up a package that would encompass the LGBT community as well in the fight against the high prevalence rates of this scourge.
Various projects that are not segregating ones sexual orientation where trying to make a change by encompassing LGBT in this HIV/AIDS relief program.
Examples such as Makerere Water reed Project, among others have worked so hard to see that there is equal treatment of HIV victims; however the government has sabotaged such arrangements by closing down all those organizations that have brought a change in fighting HIV/AIDS and branding them as “promoters” of homosexuality due to their services to LGBT. When such incidences occur towards the LGBT community, what is expected is to deepen and sink the infected LGBT victims into the closet and die a silent grief.
One should bear in mind that many of the grass root LGBT persons in countries like Uganda, and Nigeria among other homophobic countries live a life of survival, fear and isolation. And those infected live a state of denial until they are sick to the point of no return to have medication if they had a chance to have it.
One can not easily go to a medical doctor and explain what is happening to him or her for the reason of safety since these new laws punish all those that know about LGBT and keep silent about him or her. Doctors too fall into this category as per the new laws.
Therefore at least much pressure should be exerted on these countries to at least formulate a policy that encompasses every one regardless of his or her sexual orientation. Basing on the contents in the new law specifically the ‘Anti Homosexuality’ law in Uganda, there is anticipated increase in the rise of the prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS simply because many of the LGBT persons are going to stay with no relief drugs like ARVS, free condoms and more so they are going to make a lot of infections to others that are not infected.
You and i should sit down and ask ourselves. What have we done to make this trend from happening as yet predicted upon the kuchus living in hiding after the new Anti Homosexuality laws introduced?
From my childhood till the time i got in Europe, my understanding of the court was all about criminals. I grew up in Uganda a country where i was used to seeing people taken to courts on criminal charges and such people included examples such as thieves, fraudsters, child molesters, rapists, murderers, conmen among others. It was because of the way things were handled back in my home country regarding judicial affairs.
When I come to Europe, i went in to apply for asylum; i was given a negative decision by the immigration with regard to my request for asylum and i was advised to go to court by my lawyer. It was so terrifying in that i first resisted the idea of appeal that was being suggested by my lawyer thinking that my sexual orientation could not make a criminal in these civilized countries that respect human dignity. More so i had never committed any crime to be dragged in court, no any past criminal record to make me go in court in my country in the last past years i lived there. It was really so puzzling to me to accept the whole idea simply because my mind was conditioned to thinking that courts are meant for criminals.
In many circumstances, many of the LGBT asylum seekers are subjected to courts so as to get a fair judgment which they think the immigration authorities have denied them and this is all done by the legal advisors or practitioners who are specialized in asylum cases.
Besides the experience i had, many others who have come to confess say that it was even much worse when they had to stand alone in courts without any of their friends escorting them. Many believed it was the system that was designed to make one feel isolated from those that wanted to support him or her by being present in the court hearing session, however this was watered down by many activists who had to be bold and forward in asking the legal advisors about this setting and it was proved that any one can go with as many supporters as he wishes in a court to be present at the hearing of this case.
It is quite interesting on how one can prove his sexual orientation in front of the judge in order to have a safe life in any of the safe havens of LGBT in the world. It is somewhat a tasking challenge to both sides but it is the system that has to either make someone stay and live a free life as any LGBT or to send back that person into the harm’s way or live a closed life of pretence about his or her sexual orientation.
This is all a testimony of an asylum seeker who prefers not to be disclosed but liked to share his experience of how it feels like to be taken to court to prove your sexual orientation in order to have a free life in a foreign country once the immigration authorities disapprove your request for asylum.
A ugandan lesbian, Anne Nassozi fled Uganda in December 2013, two months before the country passed an anti-gay law, and was detained in a UK immigration centre following a failed bid for asylum.
The Save Anne campaign said Nassozi faces greater danger returning to her country and would be prone to violence. If convicted under Uganda’s anti-gay law, she could possibly face a long jail term.
Activists used the #SaveAnne to voice their concerns over Nassozi’s asylum case.
I am acting on Anne’s behalf as her advocate, and started this petition to protect her life.
Anne is gay, and lets out property to other gay women in her village. In December 2013 she fled violent persecution in Uganda to seek asylum in the UK.
The Ugandan 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act was signed into Law in February this year. Gay people in Uganda face life imprisonment for homosexuality, and many of Anne’s tenants who did not escape the violent mob which pursued them were beaten and killed.
Anne faces certain danger if she is forced to return to Uganda.
Anne is due to be deported to Uganda this Wednesday – 9th April.
Theresa May must URGENTLY lobby the Home Office to immediately retract Anne’s removal directions, as a concerted step towards making good on her promise to address failures in the asylum process for LGBTQ seekers.
Visit http://www.saveanne.com to listen to an interview conducted with her via phone, from Yarl’s Wood IRC, and for more information on Anne’s case.
Draft petition reads;
Rt Hon Theresa May MP, House of Commons
Jenny Sharkey, Secretary to Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Anne was forced to flee her village because she has relationships with women, and rented properties to other lesbians. On 21st March she received removal directions for her deportation to Uganda. Her deportation is scheduled for Wednesday 9th April. Anne will face certain danger if she is returned to Uganda.
Anne’s case is the first documented scenario where a landlord letting property to gay tenants has been violently persecuted, since the passing of Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law last month. It is an extremely concerning indicator of the consequences of passing this Law; consequences which can only be expected to accelerate in severity if appropriate support and protection is not afforded to those at risk. The wider ramifications of Anne’s imminent deportation, and consequent danger to her life must not be ignored. The harm certain to befall Anne on her return to Uganda will act as a direct deterrent to landlords currently providing housing for gay people in the country.
I urge you to immediately retract Anne’s removal directions to Uganda.
In many ways one can be really puzzled on who is most right when it comes to the topic of religion and homosexuality on the African continent.
It raises a question of who has been most feed by the gospel of Christ of ‘Love thy neighbor as you love thy self ‘
Many clergies on the continent are very negative about the topic of homosexuality calling it an abomination to the Christianity and human existence at large, however some of the chosen few clergies have come up with a different understanding of homosexuality in line with religion beyond the way their counterparts perception on the matter.
It will further raise other questions in one’s mind;
Do they all believe in the same God and Jesus Christ? Or
They have been taught to interpret the bible in a different way?
The best way to answer according to UGOM would be that it is all a matter of understanding beyond cramming what one reads in the Bible. It is what the likes of Bishop Ssenyonjo, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Father Anthony Musaala have been blessed with. To understand the Bible beyond reading it compared to their counterparts.
It is somewhat a difficult scenario to convince one to see your direction of understanding religion and homosexuality but these men of God have done what they can within their means to make Africans and the rest of the world see what the reality is on the matter.
Their work will always shine through generations and people like us who have already been enlightened on the matter can only appreciate their efforts.
The fact that the Bible in the Old testament abolished a lot of things by then which all Jesus cleansed in the new Testament should be a clear notification to many that have used the Bible it self to create hatred among many people.
The Bible in the Old Testament in Leviticus a lot was abolished.
For example Leviticus 15:19-23; If a woman in her periods lies or sits on anything such as bed, blanket or bed sheets, or chair, it could make them unclean and any one who comes into contact with that woman or any thing she touched or had contact with, he or she could be considered unclean; they had to wash them selves till evening to be clean again…
Basing on the above Biblical evidence, does it mean that today the same should be taken into consideration and application at this time and era because the Bible talks about it?
The point here is to really understand beyond what you read not actually apply what is said. This is what makes one extra ordinary and putting one in the caliber of Bishop Ssenyonjo and his league of extra ordinary clergies.
The world would really need to have enlightened people to have peace and it is all that we all should pray for and works towards that.