Tag Archives: Lesbians in Uganda

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

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)

U.S: After Being Beaten and Raped, Lesbian Asylum Seeker Faces Deportation

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A 20-year-old Ugandan woman is at risk of deportation after attempting to seek asylum in the United States.

According to a recent story by Rolling Stone, the woman, identified only as Margaret, traveled from Uganda after coming out as a lesbian. As a result of her being public about her sexuality, she was “raped and repeatedly beaten.” Margaret reached the Juárez, Mexico–El Paso, Texas border after a lengthy and dangerous trek spanning several months.

Although Margaret didn’t have her documentation — or any personal belongings, since they all had been stolen while she was on the Mexican side of the border — she successfully was able to enter the U.S. last month. However, on Wednesday she was told devastating news.

“U.S. officials had determined that, despite being a lesbian from a country in which it is illegal to be one, and despite having already suffered beatings and a rape, Margaret had no ‘credible fear’ or any way of knowing what would happen if she were sent back,” Rolling Stone reports.

An appeal has been filed and Margaret may receive an immigration judge’s ruling as early as next week.

Continue reading: https://www.out.com/news/
2019/10/20/after-being-beaten-and-raped-lesbian-asylum-seeker-faces-deportation
(source)

Uganda: Doctor assaults patient after discovering she is a lesbian

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A Ugandan doctor beat his own patient after learning during a consultation that she is a lesbian, broke her skull, dislocated her arm, and threw her out of the hospital amid renewed calls for a new Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Continue reading: https://76crimes.com/2019/10/20/cruelty-ugandan-medical-doctor-brutally-assaults-own-patient-on-knowing-she-is-lesbian/ (source)

Lesbians Are a Target of Male Violence the World Over

by Julie Bindel

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Lesbians in the U.K. have fought for and achieved legislative equality with heterosexuals. We can marry, adopt and foster children, and have next-of-kin rights with a same-sex partner. It is now illegal to fire us from our jobs or refuse goods and services on the grounds of our sexuality.

These changes also are prevalent across the majority of states in the U.S. and in numerous other countries around the world. But there are still plenty of places that have either rolled back the rights of lesbians, such as Russia under President Vladimir Putin, or, under the influence of religious fundamentalists, have introduced archaic and extremely punitive legislation affecting LGBTQ people.

Continue reading: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/lesbians-are-a-target-of-male-violence-the-world-over/ (source)

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)

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)

U.S: Federal judge denies lesbian Ugandan woman’s plea for release, stay of removal

The Rev. Hall Kirkham (left) embraced a woman from Uganda, whose daughter is trying to stay in the US to escape persecution because she is gay.

A Massachusetts federal court judge ruled late Thursday that he has no jurisdiction to delay deportation proceedings of a gay Ugandan woman who has said she believes she could be persecuted, and even killed, if she returns to Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by life in prison.

Continue reading at: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/
2018/07/20/federal-judge-denies-gay-ugandan-woman-plea-for-release-stay-removal/0MYWBgInk1TbmmSbNCouxO/
story.html
(source)

UK immigration official ‘told lesbian to find religion and get cured’

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Ugandan lesbian Awori was forced to leave her homeland after being called ‘evil’ and beaten for being gay.
The 37-year-old said she was detained for four hours the first time she put her first asylum application in.
“This Home Office guy asked me to change. He told me to go to a church and repent and then I will stop claiming I am a lesbian.”

Continue reading at: https://metro.co.uk/2018/05/16/uk-immigration-official-told-lesbian-to-find-religion-and-get-cured-7547511/  (source)

Uganda and U.K: Athlete who feared death because she is a lesbian, is celebrating first Liverpool Christmas with partner

athlete

A former Commonwealth Games athlete who feared she would lose her life if she was deported back to her native Uganda is now instead looking forward to sharing her first Christmas in Britain with her partner.

Continue reading at: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/
liverpool-news/athlete-who-feared-death-because-14076272
(Source)

Uganda: Lesbian facing deportation from UK despite fears of persecution

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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)

SHE FLED PERSECUTION FOR BEING LESBIAN. HOSTILE QUESTIONING AT U.S. BORDER MADE HER AFRAID TO TELL THE TRUTH.

SITTING IN AN interrogation room at Dulles International Airport, Ella was paralyzed with fear. Terrified by the uniformed immigration officials lobbing questions at her, the 23-year-old Ugandan woman could think of only one thing: “I can’t go home.”

One year earlier, Ella had been caught in her village in bed with her female partner. Rounded up and taken out into the streets, she and her partner were forced to march naked through the village while being taunted, jeered at, and burned with searing paraffin oil. Police intervened to stop the mob from killing the women, but they arrested both Ella and her partner on charges of immorality. She was beaten in police custody.

Continue reading at: https://theintercept.com/2017/11/04/uganda-lesbian-us-asylum-seeker/ (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)

ERASURE: THE NEW NORMAL FOR LESBIANS BY @VABVOX

A Room of Our Own
A Feminist/Womanist Network

Victoria Brownworth
Daily Disquisitions

“Lesbian sexual identity and choice is being eroded, erased and elided. This is being done by the literal obliteration of lesbians by state-sponsored violence, by the “corrective rape of lesbians” (imagine the 12 year old Pearl Mali being given the worst sort of reparative therapy by her very own mother), by the harassment and violence, by the firings (lesbians face more job discrimination than any other group within the LGBT alliance), by the enforced and compulsory heterosexuality of every society on earth. Aderonke Apata has been forced, by men, to provide not just spoken testimony and a pending marriage license, but also a sex tape of her having sexual relations with her partner to “prove” her lesbianism to the men who want to erase that aspect of her identity–the very identity that puts her and millions of other lesbians at risk of imprisonment and/or death.”

Continue reading Victoria Brownworth and other contributors to A Room of Our Own at: Erasure: The New Normal for Lesbians by @VABVOX – A Room of Our Own (Source)

AND MORE Victoria Brownworth at: https://www.victoriabrownworth.com/

Despite facing persecution acclaimed Ugandan rapper Keko comes out as lesbian

The star explained that she hoped that coming out would help young people struggling with their sexuality, as well as dispel the idea that homosexuality is “unAfrican”.

“I speak on it because there are so many kids out there that are like that … people always have that notion where they say, ‘Oh, [being gay] is such a Western thing, they are copying it from the movies.’ So, I speak on it because people need to live freer lives.”

“And this is Africa. So, there is still a lot of time before that happens. But if they can look back and be like, ‘Well, Keko was not afraid to be open about it and stand up for herself, then I can just be myself’.”

Continue reading at: Despite facing persecution acclaimed Ugandan rapper Keko comes out as lesbian – MambaOnline – Gay South Africa online (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)