In Uganda, Usaam Mukwaya suffered the worst humiliations and threats because of his homosexuality. To live freely, gay activist has just [June 2010] arrived in France to seek asylum.
Since the Ugandan press has his photo and name, his life became hell. His family and friends rejected him, his employer fired, the passers-call "sodomite." In a market, it was even beaten and Muslims called for the murder. As for law enforcement: "The second time police arrested me, I was tortured, says the militant anti-LGBT and AIDS 25. I filed a case to the Human Rights Commission of Uganda, and I was unsuccessful. "
Feb. 14, in the capital Kampala, Usaam Mukwaya met Louis-Georges Tin, president of the committee IDAHO . Touched by his story, the French activist has launched an application for asylum, and mobilized the French Consulate in Uganda and the Departments of Immigration and Foreign Affairs. Assistance that enabled Usaam Mukwaya arrived in France yesterday with a visa that will allow him to complete his application for asylum. The beginning of a new life?
TÊTU: You come from Uganda, an English speaking country. Why did you choose to come to France?
Usaam Mukwaya: First, Louis George, who is French, was the first person I talked about what happened to me. He said he would do his best to get me out of this situation. Another reason: I know that France is a free country, and was told she is very respectful of human rights. So I told myself that, perhaps, by coming to France, I'd be free to be gay.
To obtain asylum, you must prove that you are persecuted, that your life is in danger because of your sexual orientation. Do you have enough evidence?
I sent documents to the Embassy of France [in Uganda]. In particular, copies of newspapers where there are pictures of me and sent me letters that local authorities. Like when the village where I lived told me that he leaves me a week to move and that if I did not, it would burn with my business. I also have a report from my lawyer in Uganda provides an update on everything that happened to me.
The authorities in my village sent me a letter: I had a week to move, otherwise you burn me with my business.
If you get the right of asylum, will you continue to defend the rights of LGBT people in Uganda back home?
Yes. Because even when I had problems, I continued to do what I had to do because I felt sorry for the others. I give you a picture: you plant a mango tree. If you die you will perhaps not taste the fruit, but your children, your great-great grandchildren will, themselves, eat mangoes. So if I'm lucky to get asylum in France, it will help me to help Uganda to ensure that LGBT my country can have rights.
What are the latest news about the proposed anti-gay law?
A few weeks ago, a committee studied the bill and decided he could not walk in Uganda. When the Muslims heard this, they organized a conference in a kind of square in Kampala (the capital, ie) for two to three days. They said: "If the bill does not pass, we will kill homosexuals." They said they had researched, they were trying to find out who is who and they had driven people to kill - and kill these people.
"Preventing the African gays remain in the shadows"
The Ugandan Usaam Mukwaya Agloah just create an information network homophobic acts committed in Africa. One way to continue the fight from exile.
Usaam kept his word. This young Ugandans were told that even TÊTU from France, where he has obtained the right to asylum, he would continue to advocate for the rights of his fellow gays and lesbians back home. In the end, Usaam Mukwaya goes even further: he has created on August 15 the African gay and lesbian organization Against Homophobia (Agloah). Until the launch of its site in French and English, the pan-African network of LGBT information is now on Facebook.
TÊTU: Why was the Agloah?
Usaam Mukwaya: I know many homosexuals who have been arrested, tortured, who have suffered in many ways. These people end up leaving their country, even as I left the mine. But if everybody goes, there will be more LGBT activism in our country. I created Agloah to prevent the fate of homosexuals back home do not stay in the shade.
What binds Agloah mission?
We build a network of African countries to the militants we provide information on arrests, acts homophobic ... Then, we communicate this information to European countries and human rights organizations, who may decide the way forward. Currently we have over in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Burundi, Cameroon, Tunisia, Morocco, Mali and Senegal.
You have been granted asylum ...
I received this letter from 23 October Ofpra (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons, ed)! I'm so glad I do not even know how to celebrate the news! The interview was conducted in late September. They were waiting for before I came, they had read the interview TÊTU had made with me.