Tag Archives: seeking asylum

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)

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)

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)

Belgium: Lesbian couple victim of lesbophobic violence in asylum centre

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‘From day one we already got threats. In one way or another the news spread very quickly that a lesbian couple was staying in the center. Since then, we are being chased and spitting at our feet. Once they threw balls at us, which caused me to suffer scrapes.But it quickly became a lot worse, “says an emotional Gona. 

The couple say she feels unsafe. ‘Our first room was completely behind the asylum center, far away from the employees. If something went wrong, it took a long time before an employee could come on the spot. ‘ They say it did not help that they were so far away from the employees. ‘In the evening only two staff members are present for the complete asylum center. If it goes wrong here, then all help will come too late. ” 

They were offered another room. But when they went to visit, the residents who stayed in the new hallway did not want to let them through. “A lesbian couple is not welcome in their ‘department'”.

Continue reading at: https://zizo-online.be/article/13252 (Source – Dutch)

Lesbian couple victim of LGBT violence in asylum center ZiZo-Online (Translated pdf – English)

Amsterdam: Nuns Kick Out Lesbian Asylum Seeker

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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)

 

 

USA: Solitary Confinement for Asylum Seeker over Sexual Assault Allegations

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In Texas, supporters of 23-year-old asylum seeker Laura Monterrosa say she was put in solitary confinement for 60 hours at the T. Don Hutto detention center outside Austin in order to pressure her to recant her allegations that she was sexually assaulted by a guard. ICE says Monterrosa was under “medical observation.” But she later made a strange call to her lawyer from an unusual phone number. Grassroots Leadership shared a recording with Democracy Now!

Laura Monterrosa: “I wanted to call you, because I wanted to tell you that everything I had said was false, and I was forced to tell you that, because, if not, they were going to lock me again in that room, and I didn’t want to be locked again in that room.”

Continue reading at:
https://www.democracynow.org…_solitary_confinement_for_asylum_seeker_over_sexual_assault_allegations (Source)

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

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“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

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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 woman from Nigeria attempts suicide shortly before Home Office tries to deport her

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A lesbian asylum seeker attempted to take her own life in order to stop herself being deported from the UK.

Nneka Obazee, 34, was meant to be flown on a charter flight to her home country of Nigeria but she overdosed on pain medication which led to her hospitalisation, according to activist group Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants.

Continue reading at: Lesbian woman from Nigeria attempts suicide shortly before Home Office tries to deport her | The Independent (Source)

Nigeria: Thugs attack ex-wife suspected of lesbian affair, victim flees to Canada

A Nigerian woman accused of lesbian sex has escaped to Canada after surviving an attack by thugs who she said were sent by her ex-husband. The attack and her escape occurred after she was released from police custody following her arrest on homosexuality charges at her ex-husband’s instigation.

Continue reading at: Nigeria: Thugs attack ex-wife suspected of lesbian affair | 76 CRIMES (Source)

The Gay Men Who Fled Chechnya’s Purge, the Lesbians Who Saved Them and the Lesbians Who Haven’t Made it Out

Some of the safety measures are hard won. In May, Baranova was helping a lesbian who came to Moscow with her husband, a gay man. Marrying another gay person has long been a way for queers in Chechnya to create a life. But the relationship was strained, and once they left Chechnya they planned to separate. The woman was terrified that her family would pursue her, so Baranova arranged for her to leave Russia. A few hours before Baranova was scheduled to pick the woman up to go to the airport, she got a voice message from her. She still has it stored on her phone, and I got the impression that she had listened to it repeatedly. It began with ambient noise. “See, it sounds like she is on her way somewhere,” Baranova said.

“I’m going to try to get rid of this number,” the woman said. “But, if you get any calls from it, please don’t take them. Goodbye.”

Baranova went to the meeting place that she and the woman had arranged, and waited for several hours. The woman never showed up. In mid-June, news came that the woman had died in Chechnya, apparently from kidney failure. Her friends assume that she was poisoned by her family.

Continue reading at: The Gay Men Who Fled Chechnya’s Purge | The New Yorker (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/

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)

Kenyan lesbian fails Swedish immigration ‘gay test’

Some of the questions asked by the migration board include: “Would you describe yourself as lesbian or gay?”, “When do you feel that you became sexually interested in other people? How do you think about this?” And “For me, this sounds like a form of sexual exploitation of you, and not one Equal sex relationship”

“I did not understand anything. No one told me what to expect. What I would do or say, or at least give me some guidelines,” she said.

Lucy further alleges that her life is in danger because her name has been released as a lesbian in the infamous Ugandan Tabloid Red Pepper among 200 other African lesbians.

Continue reading at: Kenyan lesbian fails Swedish ‘gay test’ – Entertainment News (Source)

Zimbabwean lesbian in asylum limbo for 15 years, stuck in Britain

Paradzai Nkomo’s emailed description of her situation is succinct and shocking. She is Zimbabwean and has been in Britain for 15 years. First her application for asylum was rejected and then her request to be deported home was also refused, leaving her stuck in limbo.“It’s difficult to integrate as I am not permitted to work. Conversation becomes repetitive because of not doing anything apart from looking out of a damp, drenched window day after day. Hiding malnutrition under borrowed clothes,” she writes. “A quest for freedom has now turned into a hellish nightmare. I feel as though death may be the only way out of this.”

Continue reading at: Asylum limbo: the woman who can’t stay in Britain, but can’t leave either | World news | The Guardian (Source)

Lesbian asylum seeker says ex-husband will kill her if Britain deports her to Nigeria

A Nigerian woman held at Britain’s most infamous immigration detention center has pleaded with the authorities not to send her back to her home country, where her ex-husband is allegedly waiting to kill her.

Continue reading at: Lesbian asylum seeker says ex-husband will kill her if Britain deports her to Nigeria — RT UK (Source)

Lesbians in the News – 30 October 2015

Lesbians in the News 30 October 2015

Guyana loses Woman of Courage Zenita Temall Nicholson

Guyanese LGBT activist, Zenita Temall Nicholson died on October 26th. Temall Nicholson was honoured last year by the US Embassy in Georgetown as an International Woman of Courage. She was the Country Coordinator for Caribbean Vulnerable Communities/PANCAP Global Fund, and past Secretary on the SASOD Board of Trustees (Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Guyana).

On presentation of the Woman of Courage award in March 2014, Temall Nicholson was described as being “an energetic, effective and passionate advocate at both the national and international levels for the principle that both women’s rights and the rights of lesbian, gays, bi – sexual and transgender persons are human rights, deserving of equal attention and protection”.

Guyana remains the only country in South America where homosexuality remains illegal and is punishable by imprisonment, with additional laws criminalising gender non conforming dress, although men may cross dress or express their gender identity as long as it is not for “improper purposes”. Women may wear trousers but do not appear to be covered by the same ruling enabling cross dressing.

As reported in a 2012 report to the UN CEDAW Committee, Guyanese lesbians remain subjected to harassment and sexual threats, compulsory heterosexuality, compulsory femininity and/or gender conformity.

Zenita Temall Nicholson’s activism will be missed in a country which requires significant improvements to secure the safety and wellbeing of lesbians, and our thoughts are with her family.

 

Arts & Entertainment

  • Curve magazine will contain an in-depth story on lesbian erasing in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) in their January issue.
  • Listen to author Michael Helquist discuss his new book about Marie Equi; lesbian doctor, activist and anarchist.
  • Follow bloggers Wandering Wives, a UK lesbian couple that sold everything they owned to travel the world.
  • Copies of Blood and Visions: Reconciling with Being Female by Autotomous Womyn’s Press are now available at Green Woman Store. It includes writing by ten womyn who stopped their transition from female to male.
  • Listen to the recording of “The Sounds of MichFest 2015: a Radio Documentary of the 40th and Final Fest” on WORT. It can be found under “Access Hour” in the archives from October 26th.

Laws, Politics and Policies

Social and Health Issues

Crimes against Lesbians

  • A lesbian couple vacationing in Hawaii was attacked and arrested by a police officer that didn’t like their public displays of affection in a grocery store. Taylor Guerrero and Courtney Wilson spent three days in jail before charges were dropped. The Honolulu Police Department has launched an investigation into the incident. Wilson and Guerrero have filed a lawsuit against the officer for discrimination.
  • A Welsh lesbian is speaking out after her attackers received a slap on the wrist for verbally and physically attacking her in north Wales in July. 44-year old Jackie Hatton-Kesketh says the attack left her unable to continue working at her job and contributed to the breakup of her 12-year relationship.

Events

  • The leading scorer in the history of international soccer, Abby Wambach, announced her retirement on October 27th. Wambach finishes her amazing career as the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, only the second American to win the title since Mia Hamm (2011 & 2002).
  • Jamaica held its first Montego Bay Pride on October 25th and announced it was a complete success. The event included music, networking, a 10-minute Flash Stand in front of the Summit Police Station and a speech by leading Jamaican activist Yvonne McCalla-Sobers.

Lesbians in the News compiled by Liz and Lisa.

If you have any other stories, corrections or comments, please add them below or email them to liz@listening2lesbians.com.

Lesbians in the News – 24 October 2015

Lesbians in the News 24 October 2015

“Lethal threat for the whole of humankind” – ongoing persecution in Russia

anti-gay propaganda

News for Russian lesbians gets grimmer as new legislation flags the possibility of being fined or arrested for merely coming out on the grounds of homosexuality posing a “lethal threat for the whole of humankind”.  The legislation is matched by public opinion reportedly showing an increase in the percentage of the population who believe that lesbians and gay men should be “isolated from the population”, with one fifth purportedly supporting the “liquidation” of the LGBTI  community. Following previous anti lesbian and gay crackdowns, including the banning of “anti gay propaganda” in 2013, the proposed legislation would fine Russian lesbians and gay men for publicly declaring their sexuality, with proposed incarceration for making the “declaration” in a school, cultural institution or public building.
The situation for lesbians in many parts of the world remains dire, with legal sanctions complementing social sanctions including horrific rates of corrective rape, as reported by Victoria A. Brownworth.

Arts & Entertainment

  • Lesbian representation on television and in movies gets a critical eye.  Is there a ‘Need Not Apply’ sign for lesbians that are not white, thin and femme?
  • FujiTV in Japan will debut a new drama on November 7th featuring a love story between two women.  Some argue the series isn’t going far enough in portraying current real world situations for Japan’s lesbian community.
  • Lesbian playwright and head writer of The Laramie Project, Leigh Fondakowski, is opening a new play, Spill, about the BP Oil spill in the Gulf Coast in 2010.

Laws, Politics and Policies

  • The State of Utah is paying up after denying a lesbian couple a birth certificate for their child with the names of both mothers included on it.
  • Civil unions began in heavily Catholic Chile on October 22nd.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union is taking on a northern California high school that sent a student home for wearing a ‘Nobody Knows I’m a Lesbian’ t-shirt.  According to the school, the t-shirt was an “open invitation to sex,” which sounds scarily similar to accusations leveraged against rape survivors.  The student fears she will be expelled if she wears the t-shirt to school again.  On the opposite coast, a lesbian teacher in New York details the harassment and bullying she experienced from the principal and assistant principal of her school.  When she complained about the bullying her son was getting at school she was told, “It is an abomination against God, and you made this child a victim of your poor choices.”  Charming.
  • Did you ever wonder how Roberta Kaplan and Edie Windsor met?  The Advocate does a great story on the powerhouse these two women created in changing the fight for marriage equality in the U.S. forever.

Social and Health Issues

Crimes against Lesbians

  • A woman in Louisiana has been arrested for cruelty towards her lesbian daughter, including suggesting on more than one occasion that her daughter commit suicide.
  • UK figures report a dramatic rise in homophobic hate crimes, although it’s not clear what percentage is against men and women, and what percentage of crimes are even reported.
  • Lesbian and gay asylum seekers face homophobia in Europe from fellow asylum seekers, according to the Washington Post. The article is notably silent on the experiences of Lesbians.

Events

Profound thanks to Lisa for compiling the vast majority of this edition of Lesbians in the News.

If you have any other stories, please add them in the comments or email them to me at liz@listening2lesbians.com.