The British government has already sought sought to deport her two times. In October, Prossie was “clearly unfit to fly“ and resisted efforts to place her on an Ethiopian Airlines flight so strongly that the pilot refused to allow her on it. In November, she again physically resisted and the plane left without her on board.
Prossie has some very clear reasons to fear for her life should she be deported to Uganda. After her parents’ death when she was a child, she went to live with an uncle. From the age of eight, she was raped by him, according to Gay Asylum UK. At the age of 13, Prossie was taken out of school. When she was 15 and her sexuality exposed, she ended up living for the most part on the streets.
The advocacy group Movement For Justice (MFJ) says that, while in Uganda, Prossie had a secret relationship with a married woman who was able to obtain a passport and an agent to take her to the U.K. in September 2010. While in the U.K.. Prossie has been in a number of lesbian relationships.
In July, the U.K. Border Agency raided the house Prossie was living in and placed her in Yarl’s Wood Detention Center. While there, she claimed asylum. But the U.K. government has still gone ahead with plans to deport Prossie even though, as Gay Asylum U.K. asserts, she “faces certain persecution and the likelihood of imprisonment and torture if she is returned to Uganda. There is no family she can turn to for support or protection.”
Prossie has found friends and support in Britain’s Ugandan community, many of whom are coming forward to argue that she must not be deported.
As a lesbian, Prossie has virtually no legal protections and will surely be subjected to homophobic persecution in Uganda. The country’s government wants not only to outlaw homosexuality with its Kill the Gays Bill but to criminalize anyone who does not report gay friends.
The European Union has ruled that criminalization of homosexuality is grounds for asylum. It is inhumane for the British government to deport Prossie back to Uganda, where she will certainly face, at the very least, hostility and mistreatment if not violence and abuse.
Back in March, the U.K. deported Jackie Nanyonjo, an LGBT asylum seeker, back to her native Uganda. After being returned vomiting blood to her family, Nanyonjo died. U.K. activists are charging that her death was the result of the actions of U.K. authorities.
Gay Asylum U.K. is calling for Prossie’s deportation to be cancelled and that she be released from the detention center and granted asylum. There is certainly a precedent for doing so: in April, a Ugandan woman, Christine, who advocates said had been raped by her father and subsequently gave birth to a child, was freed from a British detention center. In June, a lesbian from Uganda, Happy Rwehobuganzi, had her deportation stopped at the very last moment.
Unless Prossie N.’s December 12 deportation is prevented, the U.K. government could find itself held responsible for the death of another young woman who, like Nanyonjo, was seeking humane treatment and asylum on its shores.
Sign the petition here to ask the U.K. government not to deport Prossie N, then share with your friends so the U.K. knows the world is watching.
Photo via Thinkstock
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