Prossy Kakooza, fleeing homophobic hatred in Uganda, must be allowed to stay in the UK

The Metropolitan Community Church of Manchester is mounting a campaign to allow Prossy Kakooza to remain in the UK.

See http://www.mccmanchester.co.uk/prossy.htm for full details and links to campaign resources – petition form, letter to Home Office, and posters.

Prossy Kakooza is a 26-year-old woman seeking asylum in the UK. She fled Uganda after suffering vicious sexual, physical and verbal attacks due to her sexual orientation.

Prossy had been forced into an engagement when her family discovered her relationship with the girlfriend she met at university. Both women were marched two miles naked to the police station, where they were locked up. Prossy’s inmates subjected her to gross acts of humiliation. She was violently raped by police officers who taunted her with derogatory comments like ‘’we’ll show you what you’re missing’’ and ‘’you’re only this way because you haven’t met a real man’’. She was also scalded on her thighs with hot meat skewers.

Prossy was eventually taken out of prison after her father bribed the guards. Her family had decided they would sacrifice her instead, believing this would ‘’take the curse away from the family’’. Whilst her family were making arrangements to slaughter her, Prossy managed to flee to the United Kingdom to seek asylum.

When Prossy went for treatment to her local GP’s surgery in the UK they were so shocked by the extent of her injuries they called the police. She was taken to the St. Mary’s Centre in Manchester, and she is still receiving counselling there for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Prossy’s asylum application has been refused by the Home Office, who acknowledge she was brutally raped and burnt because of the medical evidence, but have dismissed these appalling attacks as ‘’the random actions of individuals’’, and state she can be returned to a different town in Uganda. This judgement ignores the clear danger to gay people throughout the country where the penalty for homosexuality is life imprisonment. Also, in Uganda, you cannot settle in a new town without a reference from your previous village, and on the basis she is a lesbian, Prossy would be subjected to similar persecution wherever she went.

We consider that if Prossy is sent back, she faces the continuing threat of incarceration, and further sickening attacks – which next time may be fatal. Prossy is a highly educated woman who can be a productive member of society. She has a right to be free with her sexuality, which is causing no harm to anyone, and she has a right not to be raped, attacked, or murdered.

News Update – 3rd July:

Prossy Kakooza today, 3rd July 2008, won the latest fight in her battle for asylum in the UK.  A senior Immigration Judge dismissed a previous Immigration Tribunal ruling which denied Prossy asylum, calling the judgement “a mess”.

Today’s ruling allows Prossy to present her claim afresh to an Asylum Tribunal.  This hearing is likely to take place in the autumn where Prossy’s claim will be looked at, the possibility of “internal relocation” in Uganda examined and her identity as an out and proud lesbian in the UK considered.

News Update – 5th September:

On Friday 5th September Prossy’s appeal against the Home Office decision to refuse her asylum in the UK was heard at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in Manchester.  19 people came with Prossy show support and attend the hearing.  Of these 9 gave evidence in court to support their witness statements.  Prossy’s barrister was extremely well prepared, thorough and forensic in her submissions to court.  The judge will make her decision in the next 10 days and Prossy will be notified of this decision, by the Home Office, in the next three to four weeks.  Please keep both Prossy and the judge in your prayers over the next few weeks.

Web links about Prossy’s case:

Main campaign page – http://www.mccmanchester.co.uk/prossy.htm

Lesbian and Gay Foundation – http://www.lgf.org.uk/news/548/75/

Gay.com – http://365gay.com/Newscon08/05/051408ug.htm

Gays Without Borders – http://gayswithoutborders.wordpress.com/2008/07/04/uk-prossy-kakooza-wins-latest-fight/

Pink News – http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-8219.html

Prossy’s video story in YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/v/H3doJs98PD0

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