BRITAIN: Deportation Reprieve For Uganda's Brenda Namiggade
Ugandan citizen Brenda Namiggade was already being escorted to London's Heathrow airport tonight when word came that Britain's Home Office had granted a temporary reprieve to her deportation. This comes after gay activists earlier today served UK Home Secretary Theresa May with a petition bearing over 40,000 names.
According to the BBC, some in the British government doubt that Namiggade is actually a lesbian and suspect she is using the claim to stay in the country. Namiggade has repeatedly stated that she is gay and that she fears for her life should she be returned to Uganda.
Her lawyer, Abdulrahman Jafar, said he would argue that Ms Namiggade should be allowed to remain in the UK regardless of her sexuality. "The press coverage about her activities certainly expose her to a real risk if she is to be returned to Uganda," he said. Ms Namigadde, who was held at a detention centre just outside London, has told the BBC's Network Africa programme she was "shaking" with fear at the prospect of returning to Uganda. She said she fled to the UK in 2002 after being beaten and victimised because of her sexuality. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, has said people facing persecution for their sexual orientation in Uganda should be given refugee status in other countries.According to the head of the UK's Border Agency, an immigration judge had previously ruled Namigadde as "not homosexual."