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Friday, 8 April 2011

Action alert: Nigerian gay man Uche Nanbuife faces deportation from Britain

Update 

2 June: Bail has been today denied by a judge despite a report from Medical Justice confirming that Uche was tortured, as he has always said he was, and exactly matching his story. The Home Office said at the hearing that a decision on his case will be given within two weeks. His lawyer is to apply for judicial review of the bail decision.

20 April: An injunction was won tonight on technical grounds stopping the removal.


13 April: On Monday a Nigerian newspaper National Times published an article (large JPG) about Uche warning that he would be subjected to "jungle justice" if returned and "his body would not be found." It claimed that a movement existed against the return of gay Nigerians headed by Toyin Adelaja. It said that "homosexuality is abhorred by the Nigerian populace and there is no law protecting those who practice it."

~~~~~

Uche Nnabuife is a 33-year old Christian Nigerian national who has been detained at Haslar Immigration and Removal Centre, since November 2009. He has received removal directions for 20 April to Lagos. He is gay and is afraid of being killed if he returns to Nigeria.

In 1990 he was discovered with another man and was strung up, badly beaten, burnt and abused leading to several weeks in hospital. He saved money to leave the country, working as a male prostitute, where the property that he was living in was attacked. Fearing for his life, Uche arrived in the UK in 2005. (More on Uche's history)

His fresh claim for asylum has been refused. The judge refuses to accept his sexuality. This is despite the fact that his ex-boyfriend and other close friends are prepared to testify on his behalf that they know him to be gay. He is due to be removed on a chartered flight to Lagos on Wednesday 20 April 2011.

Since his lawyer, Hani Zubeidi, managed to get a judicial review in November 2010, Uche has had a difficult few months. He remains in detention, having had a bail application refused by a judge that has found unfavourably in a number of cases of gay defendants. The one thing he needs to prove, it seems that he can’t whilst in detention.

Although he has a conviction, he had served his time before being detained and has now been in detention for 18 months. The Guardian has recently reported on the indefinite detention and presumption of deportation of foreign nationals with a criminal conviction.

Charity, Medical Justice is sending a doctor to meet Uche and produce a report, based on a physical assessment of his scars. This will support his descriptions of events in Nigeria and we hope enable him to make a fresh claim for asylum. But he needs time for this to be arranged and the report to be written

Uche (right)
As before, Uche just wants his voice to be heard. He is gay, all of his friends know him to be gay. Yet, he has been forced to live in an environment where he is afraid to admit his homosexuality and has no freedom. He would like the government to remember that he is a human being and deserves a second chance to live his life in peace, without threat of torture or worse in Nigeria, which is the reality he faces if deported (publicity on the internet following the publication of this appeal demonstrates violent homophobic attitudes in Nigeria).

Sample comments on the internet about Uche:
Yes he will be killed jo! ....Not that I personaly condone killing...but the reality is that we still live in a culture and environment where such is GREATLY frowned at! he will be Jugded everyday of his life!...tell me if he cant walk freely with another man hand in hand? NEVER!!! at least not if he is in Nigeria!...they will pass judgement on him right away....okada boys/area boys will strip him naked and put tire on his head and parade him...and who will stop them...NOBODY!!!!

Linda, remeber that article you shared on your blog about one couple praticing infidelty and they were caught and paraded naked?...imagine that o!!! Infidelty is wrong but who are we to judge?....what happened to those couple will be nothing compared to if those type hypocrite Nigerians catches up with them.....

Nigeria is as BACKWARD as their fellow Uganda allys in issues like this...Infact show me an African country that can condone such and I will show you a three legged man!

You can help Uche by contacting the Home Secretary
Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St London SW1 4DF

Fax: 020 7035 4745
(00 44 20 7035 4745 if you are faxing from outside UK)

Email:
mayt@parliament.uk
UKBApublicenquiries@UKBA.gsi.gov.uk
CITTO@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
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