Tag Archives: Lesbian refugees

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

apata.jpg

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

pn-protest.jpg

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)

Uganda: Lesbian refugee shares her story 

Yudaya is a member of Out and Proud Africa which is an African Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex rights and human rights activist charity. Their mission is to defend human dignity, freedom, justice and equality for LGBTI people in Africa.

Continue watching at: WATCH: This refugee’s story will open your eyes to the fears LGBTIs face in Uganda (Source)