Tag Archives: Lesbian refugees

Kenya: Arson attack leaves lesbians in refugee camp with nothing

Once again, lesbians at Kakuma camp in Kenya at Block 13, along with the other refugees, are in danger, as they have suffered a fourth arson attack this year.

On August 16, the block was awakened by what sounded like gunshots. When they arose, they were met with the smell of petrol fumes all over their compound and they noticed huge amounts of it all around the shelter where the children sleep.

Police were called. They refused to come out to investigate before daylight. Thankfully the children were moved.

The police told them to leave the petrol containers as they were evidence. It turns out the petrol wasn’t just around the children’s shelter.

An hour later, the entire block was alight. From the time this was all reported, it took two-and-a-half hours for the police to show up. The station is five minutes away.

Every single bit of shelter they had left there burned to the ground, as did everything inside them and near to them.

They, quite literally, have nothing left. Twenty-five children and their mothers are now without any shelter.

There is absolutely nothing to protect them from the burning African sun, or the torrential downpours when they come.

They have no food, clothing, shelter, toiletries, or any other essentials to survive even at night.

All of their documentation and IDs as well as any personal belongings are gone. They have been left with only the clothing on their backs.

The intent of these violent crimes is clearly to kill and injure the LGB&T community in Kakuma.

Continue reading: https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f/arson-attack-leaves-lesbians-kenyan-refugee-camp-nothing (source)

Mozambique: lesbian seeks refuge in Brazil

A refugee because of homophobia and violence in Mozambique, Lara was assaulted and saw friends being killed and raped for their sexuality. Since 2013, she has lived with her wife and child in São Paulo.

“He punched me in the face, I’ll never forget it,” recalls 37-year-old businesswoman Lara Lopes, referring to one of her memories of life in Mozambique, Southeast Africa, when she was attacked by a man in the street for being a lesbian. Another vivid memory was the day her own family excluded her from dinner. “I never forget the day I went to dinner at my aunt’s house with my cousins. They excluded me, put me in a corner by myself and forbade their women to talk to me”. Both episodes were based on the same reason: homophobia.

Her father, who was very involved in sport, heard other people talking about Lara and left the family because of his daughter’s sexuality. “He always heard something, but he never came to talk about it. One day he left the house, he didn’t tell anyone and when my mother tried to find out why, he said that I was using drugs, but I never did that in my life. I soon understood what was happening”, she says.

In addition to her father’s abandonment, prejudice, according to her, is part of a society strongly influenced by Christian religions, predominantly evangelical ones. “They cursed and yelled in the street, I sometimes heard it, without even knowing where the person was. Sometimes the person would throw something from the top of a building on our heads – there were people who would throw water”.

Other than that, Lara saw even more violent forms of homophobia in the country where it was a crime to be gay until July 2015. “In the south they do a lot. Two friends of mine who couldn’t stand the verbal abuse were murdered. I sometimes ask myself: if I were still in Mozambique wouldn’t that be me?”, she asks.

One of the cases she remembers was the day when a man attacked her at the end of a football game. “It was in a public field in the center of the city, called Campo do Estrela. It’s normal for men to hint, but there are people who swallow it, my friends don’t. The guy wanted to start a fight with us, he went for it completely, cursed us with a lot of names, he punched me in the face. And I’m absolutely sure that if he sees me today, he’ll remember it very well”, she says, disgusted. “These are things you can’t forget, they’re kept there in a little drawer”, she laments.

State violence
Homophobia is a legacy of colonialism that prevails to this day in at least 30 African countries which retain the criminalisation of same-sex relationships, or otherwise restrict non-heteronormative sexual practices, according to information from the 2019 State-Sponsored Homophobia report, produced by International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA).

Mozambique, which was a Portuguese colony, broke away from its Penal Code that penalised LGBT people in 2015, but no protection was granted in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity, says the report, which also pointed to the Mozambican state’s refusal to register the NGO Lambda Moçambique, which deals with LGBT rights”.

Lambda has been in a legal battle for more than 10 years to be legally recognized by the Mozambican government, despite being the first association for the defense of sexual minorities in the country. The entity’s performance was also part of Lara’s life. “Despite being dangerous, I have always lived with LGBT people, I was part of the direction of Lambda, which is still not accepted by the government. It is not an easy task. Religion influences so much, especially the evangelicals. They think they are the owners of the truth and position themselves as God. My wife’s mother is an extreme evangelical, for example.”

(Translated)

Refugiada por causa da LGBTfobia e da violência do Estado de Moçambique, Lara foi agredida e viu amigas sendo mortas e estupradas por sua sexualidade. Desde 2013, ela vive com a esposa e um filho em São Paulo

“Ele me deu um soco na cara, nunca vou esquecer isso”, lembra a empresária de 37 anos, Lara Lopes, ao se referir a uma das memórias de sua vida em Moçambique, sudeste da África – ela foi agredida por um homem na rua por ser lésbica. Outra recordação viva em sua mente foi o dia em que a própria família a excluiu de um jantar. “Nunca esqueço o dia que eu fui jantar na casa da minha tia, entre primos, eles me excluíram, me colocaram num canto sozinha e proibiram suas mulheres de conversarem comigo”. Ambos os episódios têm o mesmo motivo: LGBTfobia.

O pai, que frequentava muito o meio do esporte, ouvia outras pessoas falando de Lara e abandonou a família por conta da orientação sexual da filha. “Ele ouvia sempre alguma coisa, mas nunca chegou para conversar a respeito. Um dia ele saiu de casa, não falou para ninguém e quando a minha mãe procurou saber o porquê, ele falou que eu estava consumindo drogas, mas eu nunca consumi na minha vida. Logo entendi o que estava acontecendo”, conta.

Além do abandono do pai, o preconceito, segundo ela, faz parte da sociedade influenciada fortemente por religiões cristãs, predominantemente as evangélicas. “Xingavam e gritavam na rua, eu ouvia às vezes, sem nem saber onde é que a pessoa estava. Às vezes a pessoa jogava alguma coisa do alto de um prédio na nossa cabeça, tinha gente que jogava água”.

Fora isso, Lara viu formas ainda mais violentas de LGBTfobia no país em que era crime ser homossexual até julho de 2015. “Chamam a pratica de estupro em pessoas LGBTs de ‘violação cura’, ou ‘violação correctiva’, que agora na África do Sul eles fazem muito. Duas amigas minhas que não aguentavam os desaforos foram assassinadas. Eu às vezes me pergunto: será que se eu estivesse em Moçambique não estaria nessa estatística delas duas?”, questiona.

Um dos casos lembrados por ela foi o dia em que um homem a agrediu ao final de um jogo de futebol. “Foi em um campo público que fica no centro da cidade, chama-se Campo do Estrela. É normal os homens mandarem indiretas, só que tem gente que engole, minhas amigas não. O cara estava com vontade de criar briga com a gente, ele foi pra cima, com tudo mesmo, xingou a gente um monte de nome, ele me deu um soco na cara. E eu tenho a certeza absoluta que se ele me ver hoje, ele vai se lembrar muito bem disso”, conta, revoltada. “São coisas que não tem como você esquecer, está lá guardado numa gavetinha”, lamenta.

Violência do Estado
A LGBTfobia é uma herança do colonialismo que impera até hoje em ao menos 30 países africanos que persistem em manter como crime as relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo ou em restringir práticas sexuais não heteronormativas, segundo informações do relatório Homofobia Patrocinada pelo Estado 2019, produzido pela Associação Internacional de Gays e Lésbicas (ILGA).

Moçambique, que foi colônia portuguesa, se desvencilhou de seu Código Penal que penalizava pessoas LGBT em 2015, mas nenhuma proteção foi concedida em relação à orientação sexual ou identidade de gênero, diz o relatório, que também apontou a negação do Estado moçambicano em registar a ONG Lambda Moçambique, que trata dos direitos LGBTs “.

Lambda está há mais de 10 anos em uma batalha jurídica para ser reconhecida legalmente pelo governo moçambicano, apesar de ser a primeira associação de defesa de minorias sexuais no país. A atuação da entidade também fez parte da vida de Lara. “Apesar de ser perigoso, eu sempre convivi com pessoas LGBTs, fiz parte da direção da Lambda, que até agora não é assumida pelo governo, não é uma tarefa fácil. A religião influencia ainda mais, principalmente na parte dos evangélicos, eles se acham os donos da verdade e se colocam na posição de Deus. A mãe da minha esposa é evangélica extremista, por exemplo”.

(Original)

Continue reading at: https://ponte.org/com-medo-de-ser-morta-por-ser-lesbica-lara-fugiu-de-mocambique-para-sp-nunca-tive-respeito-por-ser-o-que-eu-sou/ (Source)

The double threat for lesbians in El Salvador

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

By Doris Rosales, La Prensa Grafica

Claudia had to leave El Salvador because her life was at risk. There she was in danger as a woman and as a lesbian – dual reasons to die she says. For this reason, she is now taking refuge in a country that constantly feels alien to her, although it protects her human rights. She is free, but she feels lonely. Given that, she hopes that in El Salvador LGBT people will not always have to give up something, everything, just to live without fear.

Claudia, who for security reasons prefers to remain anonymous, is an activist and human rights defender. In this interview, she talks about the implications of being an LGBT person in a country like El Salvador, where, among other things, hatred, violence and impunity reign. In addition, she explains how the actions of governments which, far from progressing, insist on going backwards, affect the LGBT community. And she explains what it means to live in a place where human rights aren’t an aspiration but a fact. That place, of course, is far, far from being El Salvador. …

What does it mean to belong to the LGBT + community in a country like El Salvador?

Death. That is what it means to be part of the LGTB community in El Salvador. …

Did your departure from the country have to do with your being a rights defender or your sexual orientation?

It was both. I can’t reveal many details, but it was the violence in El Salvador that forced me to leave. I’d continue the fight, but what would that cost? Perhaps my life? Saying: “No, enough is enough” was a super difficult decision, but it was because of crime, the lack of rights and, above all, because of the violence experienced by the LGBT community. There is a horrible widespread violence, in all aspects and in all sectors of the population.

Would you return to El Salvador?

Never.

Why not?

Because in El Salvador we are light years away from changing our mentality. We have nothing there. I don’t have a future in El Salvador. And I would not return to lose the freedom that I now have. I am a refugee woman. Two months after I arrived here, my brother was murdered in El Salvador. El Salvador hurt me a lot. I am proud to be a Salvadoran lesbian woman, very proud to tell everyone that I am from El Salvador. However, the living conditions that I have in this country I would not have there as an LGBT woman. I cannot do anything. And it is a very difficult situation because I love my country. I would like to be in my country and not here where I am, but there I have no guarantees of anything.
(Translated)

Claudia tuvo que salir de El Salvador porque su vida estaba en riesgo. Aquí, corría peligro por ser mujer y por ser lesbiana. Eso le valdría, dice, estar muerta dos veces. Por eso, ahora se refugia en un país que, aunque le garantiza derechos humanos, no deja de parecerle ajeno. Es libre, pero se siente sola. Y, ante eso, anhela que en El Salvador las personas de la población LGBT+ no tengan que renunciar a algo, a todo, para poder vivir sin miedo.

Claudia, quien por seguridad prefiere mantener el anonimato, es activista y defensora de derechos humanos. En esta entrevista, habla de las implicaciones de ser población LGBT+ en un país como El Salvador, en el que, entre otras cosas, reinan el odio, la violencia y la impunidad. Además, explica cómo afectan a la comunidad LGBT+ las acciones de los gobiernos que, lejos de avanzar, se empeñan en retroceder. Y cuenta cómo se vive en un lugar en el que los derechos humanos dejan de ser una aspiración y se convierten en un hecho. Ese lugar, claro, está lejos, muy lejos de El Salvador….

¿Qué significa pertenecer a la comunidad LGBT+ en un país como El Salvador?

Muerte. Eso significa ser parte de la comunidad LGTB+ en El Salvador. …

¿Su salida del país tuvo que ver con que usted es defensora de derechos o con su orientación sexual?

Fueron las dos cosas. No puedo revelar muchos detalles, pero fue la violencia en El Salvador la que me sacó de ahí. Yo estaría en pie de lucha, ¿pero cuál sería el costo de eso? A lo mejor sería mi vida. Decir: “No, basta ya”, fue una decisión súper difícil, pero fue por la delincuencia, la falta de derechos y, sobre todo, por la violencia que se vive para la comunidad LGBT+. Hay una violencia generalizada horrible, en todos los aspectos y en todos los sectores de la población.

¿Regresaría a El Salvador?

Jamás.

¿Por qué no?

Porque en El Salvador estamos a años luz de cambiar de mentalidad. No tenemos nada en ese país. Yo no tengo un futuro en El Salvador. Y no regresaría a perder la libertad que ahora tengo. Soy una mujer refugiada, y a los dos meses de haber llegado acá, en El Salvador asesinaron a mi hermano. El Salvador me duele mucho. Yo estoy orgullosa de ser una mujer lesbiana salvadoreña, pero orgullosísima de decirle a todo el mundo que soy de El Salvador. Sin embargo, las condiciones de vida que tengo en este país no las podría tener allá siendo una mujer LGBT+. No puedo hacer nada. Y es una situación bien difícil porque yo amo mi país. Quisiera estar en mi país y no aquí donde estoy, pero allá no tengo garantías de nada.

Continue reading at: https://www.laprensagrafica.com/revistas/Yo-estoy-muerta-dos-veces-en-El-Salvador-una-porque-soy-mujer-y-dos-porque-soy-lesbiana-20210620-0074.html (Source)

Ireland: Zimbabwean Lesbian denied refugee status despite death threats

In April 2019, an International Protection Officer (IPO) recommended that the woman – who has not been named – be denied asylum, arguing that her claim lacked credibility.

The woman said she forced into two separate marriages as a child in Zimbabwe at the ages of nine and 13. She claimed she was forced to flee her home country after her family found out that she was a lesbian, leading to threats of violence.

The woman subsequently brought judicial review proceedings in an effort to have the 2019 IPO recommendation overturned – however, Justice Tara Burns denied her request on Friday (22 January), The Irish Times reports.

In her appeal, the woman argued that her sexuality was a “core element” of her asylum claim and that the IPO had failed to determine her sexuality when it recommended that she be denied asylum.

Before making a recommendation on her asylum claim, the IPO asked her questions about her sexuality and found that she was not aware of any LGBT+ support groups in either Ireland or Zimbabwe.

Continue reading at: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/lesbian-forced-flee-zimbabwe-facing-154441078.html (Source)

Homophobia and sexual exploitation: a lesbian asylum seeker’s journey from Uganda to Germany

Maria Walugembe from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, sought protection in Germany not from war, but from persecution, prison and murder. The now 44-year-old is a lesbian. In 2019, she fled her home country because in Uganda there is sometimes life imprisonment for homosexuality. Homosexuals are killed again and again. And the year Maria Walugembe leaves her country, even the government wants to make homosexuality officially a death penalty.

Maria has known since she was at school that she was a lesbian – and unfortunately her parents knew it too. “They forced me to get married to show that I was no longer a lesbian,” she says. “What could I have done? I was young and dependent on my parents. So they found me a husband and forcibly married me. That was hell for me!”

Neighbors throw stones at them
At some point, Maria Walugembe meets a woman, falls secretly in love – and one evening, when her husband is out of the house, she feels safe. But her husband came back earlier than expected and caught Maria in bed with her friend. “My girlfriend was able to escape, but I couldn’t. I fought with my husband. And people from the neighborhood came up and pelted me with stones.” And then someone called the mayor, she says.

Maria is thrown into prison and has to stay there for two days without food. Then a police officer makes her an immoral offer, she says: “He came into my cell and said he wanted to help me. But then I told him that I had no money and nothing in return. He then said, you are one Woman. He was a man, if I really couldn’t think of anything. He wanted sex! “

Escape to Italy into prostitution
Maria Walugembe gets involved. She sees it as the only chance to avoid a life sentence. At large again, she seeks refuge with her friend. But the friend is scared to death, organizes a flight to Europe for Italy and says she must leave the country immediately. Maria lands in Italy in May 2019 in the hope of a better life.

But penniless and on her own, she goes through hell once more: “My life, my health – everything got worse. I ate badly and was abused by men. My life was so terrible. I can’t talk about Italy … It was so terrible. “

Church asylum saves them from deportation
Your luck in misfortune: a haulage driver destined for Germany. Maria Walugembe meets him somewhere on the streets of Italy. Although the driver really only wants sex, he offers Maria his help. It was not easy to accept this, she says: “He used me, but also saved me. Because if I hadn’t met him, I don’t know whether I would be alive now. And as a Christian, I still pray for me today him.”

(Translated)

Nicht vor Krieg, sondern vor Verfolgung, Gefängnis und Ermordung hat Maria Walugembe aus Kampala, der Hauptstadt Ugandas Schutz in Deutschland gesucht. Die heute 44-Jährige ist lesbisch. 2019 floh sie aus ihrem Heimatland, weil in Uganda mitunter lebenslange Freiheitsstrafe auf Homosexualität steht. Immer wieder werden Homosexuelle getötet. Und in dem Jahr, als Maria Walugembe ihr Land verlässt, will selbst die Regierung Homosexualität offiziell unter Todesstrafe stellen.

Maria weiß indessen schon seit ihrer Schulzeit, dass sie lesbisch ist – und zu ihrem Unglück wissen es auch ihre Eltern. “Sie haben mich gezwungen, zu heiraten, um zu zeigen, dass ich nicht länger lesbisch bin”, erzählt sie. “Was hätte ich tun sollen? Ich war jung und auf meine Eltern angewiesen. Sie haben mir also einen Mann gesucht und mich zwangsverheiratet. Das war die Hölle für mich!”

Nachbarn bewerfen sie mit Steinen
Irgendwann lernt Maria Walugembe eine Frau kennen, verliebt sich heimlich – und wähnt sich eines Abends, als ihr Mann zunächst außer Haus ist, sicher. Doch ihr Mann kam früher als erwartet zurück und erwischt Maria mit ihrer Freundin im Bett. “Meine Freundin konnte entkommen, aber ich nicht. Ich habe ja mit meinem Mann gestritten. Und Leute aus der Nachbarschaft kamen dazu und haben mich mit Steinen beworfen.” Und dann habe jemand den Ortsvorsteher gerufen, sagt sie.

Maria wird ins Gefängnis geworfen und muss dort zwei Tage ohne Essen ausharren. Dann macht ihr ein Polizeibeamter ein unmoralisches Angebot, erzählt sie: “Er kam in meine Zelle und sagte, er wolle mir helfen. Ich hab ihm dann aber gesagt, dass ich kein Geld und nichts habe als Gegenleistung. Er sagte dann, Du bist eine Frau. Er sei ein Mann, ob mir denn da wirklich nichts einfiele. Er wollte Sex!”

Flucht nach Italien in die Prostitution
Maria Walugembe lässt sich darauf ein. Sie sieht es als einzige Chance, einer lebenslangen Freiheitsstrafe zu entgehen. Wieder auf freiem Fuß, sucht sie Zuflucht bei ihrer Freundin. Doch die Freundin hat Todesangst, organisiert ihr einen Flug nach Europa mit Ziel Italien und sagt sie müsse das Land sofort verlassen. In Italien landet Maria im Mai 2019 in der Hoffnung auf ein besseres Leben.

Doch mittellos und auf sich alleine gestellt, geht sie einmal mehr durch die Hölle: “Mein Leben, meine Gesundheit – alles wurde schlimmer. Ich habe schlecht gegessen und wurde von Männern missbraucht. Mein Leben war so furchtbar. Ich kann nicht über Italien sprechen … Es war so furchtbar.”

Kirchenasyl rettet sie vor Abschiebung
Ihr Glück im Unglück: ein Speditionsfahrer mit Ziel in Deutschland. Auf ihn trifft Maria Walugembe irgendwo auf Italiens Straßen. Obwohl der Fahrer eigentlich nur Sex will, bietet er Maria seine Hilfe an. Es sei nicht leicht gewesen, diese anzunehmen, sagt sie: “Er hat mich benutzt, aber auch gerettet. Denn wenn ich ihn nicht getroffen hätte, weiß ich nicht, ob ich jetzt noch am Leben wäre. Und als Christin bete ich noch heute für ihn.”

(Original)

Continue reading at: (Source)https://www.br.de/nachrichten/bayern/drei-fluechtlingsschicksale-drei-leben-in-bayern,SL8YMxK

Cuban lesbians fight for a life together in the US

Yanelkys_Moreno_Agramonte_and_Dayana_Rodriguez_Gonzalez

Yanelkys Moreno Agramonte, 36, and Dayana Rodríguez González, 31, had never been apart in the nearly five years since they began dating. Their lives were one until Nov. 3, 2019, when they both applied for asylum in the U.S. at a port of entry in El Paso, Texas, and they were separated a short time later.

Moreno and Rodríguez were placed into different cells as their entry into the country was processed.

“They locked me up in a small, lonely place,” Moreno told the Washington Blade on June 9 during a telephone call from the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center in Basile, La., where she remains in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. “I was there for two days and my partner was transferred the day after we arrived.”

“We lost all ties,” Rodríguez told the Blade during a telephone interview from Phoenix on June 10 where she now lives. “I didn’t know where she was and she didn’t know where I was. On the fourth day, they moved me at night to the detention center and there I was, still unsure whether they would send her there.” …

Perhaps this story would not have been so bitter if the two women had been married because ICE, in theory, allows a married asylum seeker to sponsor their spouse once it grants them “derivative” status. This process allows them to stay together as long as they present a marriage or civil union certificate.

But Moreno and Rodríguez are citizens of Cuba, an island where same-sex marriage is not yet legal. The government’s policies and social attitudes also emphasize discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

“Same-sex couples who are not married, but who are qualified to access U.S. refugee admissions under one of the three designated global processing priorities … can cross-reference their cases so they can be interviewed at the same time and, if approved by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), be resettled in the same geographic area in the United States,” says ICE.

This is how Moreno and Rodríguez did it.

Their immigration cases are the same, but Moreno in December was once again separated from Rodríguez. She was sent more than 900 miles east of El Paso to the South Louisiana ICE Correctional Center, where she currently remains in ICE custody. Rodríguez was detained in El Paso until Feb. 4 when she was released on parole and a $7,500 bond.

The two women saw each other for the last time through a door’s glass window, sending their love to each other with signs after a conversation that would define both of their lives forever. Moreno was gone the next morning and the frustration of not being able to say goodbye to her partner is painful to this day.
Couple suffered homophobia, police harassment in Cuba
Moreno and Rodríguez’s families never accepted that two women could fall in love and live together. The prejudices that still persist in Cuba and especially in Zulueta, a small town in the center of the country where they lived, were constant hurdles to their social lives and their life together as a couple.

“My parents divorced because of my sexual orientation,” said Moreno. “My father is the typical Cuban man, who said that his children could not be homosexual. My sister was the only one who always supported me.”

Rodríguez was kicked out of her home when her family found out she was in a romantic relationship with another girl.

Continue reading at: https://www.washingtonblade.com/2020/06/17/lesbian-couple-from-cuba-fights-for-life-together-in-us/ (Source)

Germany: Ugandan lesbian wins asylum but no precedent set

Munich protest Ugandan trial

March 2020: A hearing at a Bavarian courthouse on Monday over the asylum application of a lesbian woman from Uganda was thrown out after she was granted her refugee status by federal authorities.

The judge decided that the 41-year-old asylum-seeker, who faces violence and prosecution in her home country, will not be deported.

The Bavarian court did not need to make a decision after the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees admitted that the woman qualified for refugee status at the trial.

LGBT+ people in Uganda can face life imprisonment for engaging in sexual relations, as well as discrimination in private and public spheres. An October 2019 proposed law — referred to as the “Kill the Gays” bill — floated the introduction of the death penalty for LGBT+ people. The legislation was later voided.

Case ‘not a precedent’

Advocacy groups said that the case could act as a precedent for LGBT+ refugees in Germany and Europe. … However, the judge clarified that it was an “individual case” and did not mark a precedent for Ugandan or LGBT+ asylum-seekers.

Continue reading at: https://www.dw.com/en/lesbian-ugandan-asylum-seeker-spared-deportation-from-germany/a-52689706 (Source)

Germany: lack of protection for black lesbian refugees

L2L Germany

NGO figures indicate that in Bavaria around 95% of asylum applications made by black lesbian women are initially rejected by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

This contrasts with the general rejection rate of gay men of 50% and that of heterosexual women of around 30%. Although the numbers on LGBTI asylum applications are only an estimate because the BAMF does not separately register asylum cases from LGBTI people, these seem to show that lesbian asylum seekers in Germany are facing special challenges in their search for refugee protection.

Women and children are particularly vulnerable

This is especially true for black lesbian women of African descent who often experience forms of LGBTIQ-hostility such as social ostracism, racism and (sexual) violence.

In line with a recent EU directive, Germany recognises violations of human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for asylum. In addition, with the ratification of the 2011 Istanbul Convention, Germany recognises that gender-based violence can be a persecution and that refugee protection should therefore be guaranteed. Indeed, women and children, along with victims of sex trafficking, are considered the most vulnerable and vulnerable in the European asylum system.

As the 2019 statistics from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees show, over 50% of heterosexual women in Germany have successfully achieved refugee status as victims of gender-specific persecution (forced marriage, FGM, honour killings, rape, domestic violence or forced prostitution). However, lesbian refugees are struggling to show the violence and human rights violations they have experienced to receive protection of asylum.
(Translated)

NGO-Zahlen deuten darauf hin, dass in Bayern etwa 95 Prozent der Asylanträge, die von Schwarzen lesbischen Frauen gestellt werden, beim Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF) erst einmal eine Ablehnung erfahren.

Dies steht im Gegensatz zu der allgemeinen Ablehnungsrate von schwulen Männern von 50 Prozent und der von heterosexuellen Frauen von etwa 30 Prozent. Obwohl die Zahlen zu LSBTI-Asylanträgen nur eine Schätzung sind, weil das BAMF Asylfälle von LSBTI nicht gesondert erfasst, scheinen diese jedoch zu zeigen, dass lesbische Asylsuchende auf der Suche nach Flüchtlingsschutz in Deutschland besonderen Herausforderungen gegenüberstehen.

Frauen und Kinder gelten als besonders schutzbedürftig
Dies gilt insbesondere für Schwarze lesbische Frauen afrikanischer Herkunft, welche oft Formen von LSBTIQ-Feindlichkeit wie soziale Ächtung, Rassismus und (sexuelle) Gewalt erfahren.

In Übereinstimmung mit einer kürzlich erlassenen EU-Richtlinie erkennt Deutschland Menschenrechtsverletzungen aufgrund der sexuellen Ausrichtung und der Geschlechtsidentität als Asylgrund an. Darüber hinaus erkennt Deutschland mit der Ratifizierung der Istanbuler Konvention von 2011, dass geschlechtsspezifische Gewalt eine Verfolgung darstellen kann und daher Flüchtlingsschutz gewährleistet werden soll. Tatsächlich werden Frauen und Kinder zusammen mit den Opfern von Sexhandel als die schutzbedürftigsten und am stärksten gefährdeten Personen im europäischen Asylsystem betrachtet.

Wie die 2019 Statistik des Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge zeigt, haben in Deutschland über 50 Prozent der heterosexuellen Frauen erfolgreich den Flüchtlingsstatus als Opfer geschlechtsspezifischer Verfolgung (Zwangsheirat, FGM, Ehrenmord, Vergewaltigung, häusliche Gewalt oder Zwangsprostitution) erlangt. Lesbische Geflüchtete kämpfen jedoch darum, erlebte Gewalt und Menschenrechtsverletzungen für den Flüchtlingsschutz geltend zu machen.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/gesellschaft/queerspiegel/asylgrund-homosexualitaet-fehlender-schutz-fuer-schwarze-lesbische-gefluechtete/25938886.html (Source)

Spain: expulsion of Moroccan lesbian from migrant centre condemned

Melilla CETI

A Melilla migrant association, Prodein, denounced, Monday, the expulsion of a young Moroccan lesbian from a migrant reception center, as well as the assaults she allegedly suffered after sleeping on the street, Spanish news agency Europa Press said.

The last assault she suffered was on Friday, January 17, when she was threatened and injured in the hand while trying to protect herself from someone who reportedly attempted to stab her in the chest.

“The young woman expelled from CETI de Melilla (…) is sleeping on the street, where she has been subjected to several assaults for not accepting sexual advances”, Prodein’s president José Palazon told the same source.

Palazon said the young woman fled her home when she was 16, after her father wanted to marry her to a 50-year-old man. He also allegedly “locked her up to treat her from homosexuality”. (sic)

 

Continue reading at: https://en.yabiladi.com/articles/details/88165/melilla-denounces-expulsion-moroccan-lesbian.html (Source)

Guatemalan lesbian fled death threats and corrective rape

Marveny Suchite

Marveny Suchite hurriedly left Guatemala last November. She later told an American official that she had received death threats for being a lesbian, according to the formal notes taken by the authorities, to which Reuters had access.

Her mother warned her that there were people who were going to look for her, she told Reuters, explaining that they were “macho.” Suchite fled that day.

She had been beaten and raped before, first by close members of her family and then by strangers in an alley where he was ordered to “stop” being gay, according to the official’s notes that review asylum procedures.

She says she got pregnant after the attack in that alley and then, when she tried to report the rape to the police, they laughed at her.
(Translated)

Suchite dejó apresuradamente Guatemala en noviembre pasado. Más tarde le dijo a un funcionario estadounidense que había recibido amenazas a su vida por ser lesbiana, según las notas formales que tomó la autoridad y a las que Reuters tuvo acceso.

Su madre le advirtió que había personas que irían a buscarla, dijo a Reuters, explicando que eran “machistas”. Suchite huyó ese día.

Antes ya había sido golpeada y violada, primero por miembros cercanos de su familia y después por extraños en un callejón donde le ordenaron que “dejara” de ser gay, de acuerdo a las notas del funcionario que revisa los procedimientos de asilo.

Cuenta que quedó embarazada tras los ataques en ese callejón y que luego, cuando intentó reportar la violación ante la policía, se rieron de ella.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://lta.reuters.com/articulo/eeuu-migrantes-caravana-lgbt-idLTAKBN1WP2QZ (Source)

Update: Nigerian lesbian activist wins UK asylum claim after 13-year battle

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The Home Office has granted refugee status to a prominent Nigerian LGBT activist, ending a 13-year battle over her right to remain in the UK.

Aderonke Apata, 50, says she knew she was gay from the age of 16 and was persecuted in Nigeria. She has been recognised internationally for her human rights work, and recently received Attitude magazine’s Pride award.

Apata arrived in the UK in 2004 but did not immediately claim asylum on the grounds of her sexuality. Until 2010, lesbian, gay and bisexual asylum seekers were often forcibly removed to their home countries if it was deemed safe for them to “live discreetly”.

In 2012 she filed an asylum claim but was considered by the Home Office to be lying about being in a lesbian relationship. Apata appealed, but was told by the judge: “What is believed is that you have presented yourself as a lesbian solely to establish a claim for international protection in an attempt to thwart your removal … It is considered that your actions are not genuine and simply a cynical way of gaining status in the UK.”

Continue reading: https://www.theguardian.com/
world/2017/aug/14/nigerian-gay-rights-activist-aderonke-apata-wins-uk-asylum-claim-13-year-battle?CMP=share_btn_fb
(source)

Original post: UK lesbophobia endangers asylum seeker

Lesbian unlawfully deported from UK was ‘gang-raped and fearing for her life’ after removal to Uganda

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A gay woman who was unlawfully deported from the UK has described how she was gang-raped and has lived in perpetual fear since being sent back to Uganda six years ago.

The British government was ordered by the High Court this month to help the 26-year-old return to the UK on the grounds that its decision to reject her asylum claim was unlawful. The landmark ruling could open the door to thousands of similar challenges.

The Ugandan national, who is set to return on Monday, has also talked about the trauma of getting pregnant and having a child, who is now four months old, as a result of the sexual assault she suffered.

Continue reading: https://www.independent.co.uk/
news/uk/home-news/home-office-uganda-woman-deported-home-office-gang-rape-a9019356.html
(source)

Algeria: Lesbians killed to cleanse the family name

algeria
“A woman, in Algeria, is a shame for the family, because she is always expected to do something bad. The culture, the mentality, is like that in my country. The woman is the shame of the family. And if you are a lesbian, you are even worse,” explains Amina.

-When you talk about killing, is it literally?

-Literally. They say that they cleanse the family name. The law does not allow it, but they accept going to jail in order to cleanse the family name.

Homosexuality does not exist in Algeria. You hide or suffer the consequences. “The gays are beaten by the streets, all hit,” says Amina, “and they record it to upload it to social networks, proud of hitting a homosexual person.” “There are no women. Or they are not visible. Because if they knew their sexuality, they would be killed.”
(Translated)
“Una mujer, en Argelia, es una vergüenza para la familia, porque siempre se espera que haga algo malo. La cultura, la mentalidad, es así en mi país. La mujer es la vergüenza de la familia. Y si eres lesbiana, eres aún peor”, explica Amina.

—Cuando hablas de matar, ¿es literalmente?

—Literalmente. Dicen que así limpian el apellido de la familia. La ley no lo permite, pero ellos aceptan entrar en la cárcel con tal de limpiar el apellido.

La homosexualidad no existe en Argelia. Se oculta o se sufren las consecuencias. “A los gais les dan palizas por las calles, todos le pegan —apunta Amina—; y lo graban para subirlo a las redes sociales pavoneándose orgullosos de pegarle a una persona homosexual”. “Mujeres no hay. O no se ven. Porque de saberse su condición, las matarían”, zanja.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://es-us.noticias.yahoo.com/historia-amina-refugiada-argelia-lesbiana-060000747.html (Source)

Refugee lesbians at the mercy of the German bureaucracy

Success Johnson and Diana Namusoke

[Diane] Namusoke, 48, and [Success] Johnson, 27, are two lesbian women from Uganda and Nigeria respectively, who have come to Germany in search of asylum. They’ve explained — first to the police officers who picked them up, then to the aid workers at the refugee centers where they were transferred, and then at their asylum application interview at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) — that they feared for their lives in their home countries. That as a lesbian woman, nowhere was safe. And now they’re in acute danger of being deported back to the places they have desperately been trying to escape.

Continue reading at: https://www.dw.com/en/lesbian-asylum-seekers-at-the-mercy-of-german-bureaucracy/a-47935658 (Source)

Amsterdam: Nuns Kick Out Lesbian Asylum Seeker

L2L The Netherlands

A Ugandan asylum seeker who was staying with the nuns of Missionaries of Charity in Amsterdam, was not allowed to return to the shelter after she revealed that she is a lesbian and helped with the Canal Pride Parade.

Continue reading at: https://nltimes.nl/2018/08/07/amsterdam-nuns-kick-lesbian-asylum-seeker-protest-planned  (source)

Update: Lesbian refugee says she’s relieved to still be in Canada, at least for now

Angela-refugee_credit-James-Goldie-2042x1394

“I’m happy. So happy,” Angela says, two days after authorities halted her deportation at the last minute.
The 21-year-old lesbian was scheduled to be deported on Jan 18, 2017, after Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board denied her request for asylum here.
Just 24 hours before she was scheduled to be deported, Angela was granted a stay of removal, allowing her to remain in Canada and appeal her case. “When I got the news I was relieved,” she says. “I wasn’t scared anymore of going back home.”

Continue reading at: https://www.dailyxtra.com/lesbian-refugee-says-shes-relieved-to-still-be-in-canada-at-least-for-now-72880  (Source)

Uganda: Lesbian facing deportation from UK despite fears of persecution

Screenshot 2018-01-15 at 12.54.14

Lazia Nabbanja had claimed asylum in the UK on the grounds that she would face oppression in her home country, but her bid was rejected by the Home Office last year. Despite her providing evidence of her sexuality, Ms Nabbanja’s lawyers told The Independent that Home Office officials used alleged inconsistencies in the details of her relationships to suggest they did not believe she is gay. Photos and videos of her attending gay pride marches have been widely shared on social media and she has been featured in Ugandan newspapers, prompting fears she could be arrested or attacked as soon as she returns to her home country.

Continue reading at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/lesbian-uganda-women-deportation-home-office-lazia-nabbanja-gay-laws-a8123581.html (Source)

Being a refugee and a lesbian is difficult, says Somali woman

September 11, 2017 –Haji says that after lunch when the ceremony started she stood up and shouted that she would not be getting married because she had told her foster father already that she was attracted to women. She says other guests at the ceremony shouted at her and her foster father assaulted her. Her brothers took her to hospital. She decided not to lay a complaint with the police as her friends suggested, but rather to flee.

Continue reading at: http://www.mambaonline.com/2017/09/11/refugee-lesbian-difficult-says-somali-woman/ (Source)

Lesbian Ugandans among others facing isolation, violence and starvation in Kenyan refugee camp

 

 

 

In the wake of their miles-long trek last month from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, LGBTI Ugandan refugees returned to the camp with a few offers of future help. Soon after their return, the whole camp was hit by a cutback in food distribution.

The trekkers had sought protection from other refugees’ homophobic hostility and relief from the camp’s harsh conditions.

Continue reading at: LGBTI refugees in Kenya: Food cutback, new security plan | 76 CRIMES (Source)

Rejected for choosing ‘lesbian lifestyle,’ Ghana refugee gets new asylum hearing in Israel

Elam, who is representing Amponsah together with attorney Nitzan Ilani, said, “Now it is clear that the great suffering that Mavis endured from the Population Authority, including illegal incarceration of many months, and major legal expenses, was unnecessary. We asked two years ago to interview Mavis in her own language, as is required by court rulings and the procedures of the Authority itself. But the Authority refused. Thus it is operating against the law and forced us to appeal to the Appeals Tribunal just to compel the Authority, two years later, to act according to the law.”

Continue reading at: Rejected for choosing ‘lesbian lifestyle,’ Ghana refugee gets new asylum hearing in Israel – Israel News – Haaretz.com (Source)