Tag Archives: prossy kakooza

Vote for Prossy Kakooza to be a “Homo-Hero” in the LGF’s 2012 nominations

Every year the Lesbian and Gay Foundation here in Manchester ask people to vote for their “homo-heroes”.  A mixture of people and organisations are nominated, and this year we are delighted to see that Prossy Kakooza is one of the top three to have been nominated in the Role Model of the Year category.  Voting is now open online to choose the final winner in each category.

We were heavily involved a few years ago in a successful campaign to keep Prossy in the UK when the government didn’t believe she was a lesbian, or that she’d been ill-treated in Uganda, and was arguing that she’d be safe back in Uganda.  After a massive campaign and excellent legal representation from the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit Prossy was granted status in the UK.

Now Prossy works to help other asylum seekers and refugees in both her day job and also with the Lesbian Immigration Support Group which she helps to run.

You can vote for Prossy – and various other people who are nominated this year – here.  Closing date for votes is 3rd September 2012.

Update – 20th September

Prossy was the winner of the Role Model of the Year award at the Homo Heroes award ceremony on 20th September 2012.  Many congratulations to her!

Prossy Kakooza CAN stay in the UK

Prossy akooza was granted asylum in the UK on Friday 17th October, 15 long months and 3 court cases after first applying.  She is now able to live, work, and study in the United Kingdom on the same basis as any UK National for the next 5 years.  After this, she will be allowed to apply for permanent residence and then citizenship.
 
Prossy has been amazed at the level of support from people including: 

  • 5200 people from countries, and church congregations, from all over the world who have signed her petition to the Home Office asking that she be allowed to stay.
  • 100s of people who have written or emailed the Immigration Minister.
  • The 80 members and friends of Metropolitan Community Church, Manchester who have supported her with their love, prayers, money and concern.
  • The 19 friends who went to court with her and helped her collect signatures on her petition at Pride festivals all over the country.
  • The 10 friends who gave evidence in court on her behalf.
  • The 3 amazing lawyers who drafted and prepared her cases (Ruth Heatley from the Immigration Aid Unit and barristers Mark Schwenk and Mel Plimmer)
But most of all the one person who has seen through this ordeal with quiet dignity, humour even in the darkest moments, and faith that all would be well – Prossy herself.
 
She writes: 
 
Dear friends:  I get to stay!!  Am still in shock, and am so sure it’s going to take days to sink in. But I have not stopped smiling since 12:00pm today, and won’t stop for a while.
 
I went with my friend Gwen and am so glad I did because when we left I was in a sort of daze!  When this woman handed me the paper and said, “You have been granted leave to remain” my jaw nearly hit the floor. Always the pessimist, I thought this was where she told me “but the Home Office is appealing”.  So Iasked if they were and she said no they were not.  I had a bit of a hooray shout when we got out – couldn’t contain it.
 
You have held me together, you have held me upright when all I wanted to do was roll up in a heap and give up.  You gave me the motivation to go on and fight!  Going with me to places to collect signatures, encouraging people to sign online, coming to meetings, writing statements, going to court with me, and most importantly – all the prayers.   And I don’t think you have any idea how the phone calls, texts and emails help.  They kept me sane. 
 
There are no appropriate words I can use to say thank you.  All I can do is pray to my God to bless you all.  You have changed my life and for that I will forever be grateful. THANK YOU!
 
Lots and lots of love, hugs and kisses,
 

Prossy
 

Donation to Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) from the Metropolitan Community Church, Manchester

Members of the Metropolitan Community Church of Manchester will be donating money from things they gave up during Lent to the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit.
Rev Andy Braunston, pastor of the 60-member church, said:
“We have many asylum seekers who worship with us and we know from their experience the horror of having to flee one’s own country to find sanctuary and protection in the UK. Many countries still persecute lesbian and gay people and some even impose the death penalty simply because of how we love.Over the years we have been impressed by the outstanding work of the Immigration Aid Unit and wanted to help them continue to help some of the poorest and most excluded members of our society.”
The money will be handed over to the GMIAU’s Director in a special service this Sunday – 1st June 2008 – at 4pm where one church member’s public asylum campaign will be launched. A short video about Prossy Kakooza, a 26 year old lesbian from Uganda, will be shown and church members will be urged to sign a petition and write to the Immigration Minister demanding that she must not be returned to Uganda to face further physical and sexual attacks from the authorities.
You can see the full campaign details for Prossy kakooza at http://www.mccmanchester.co.uk/prossy.htm
See also this article about our donation to GMIAU in the newsletter of the Lesbian and Gay Foundation.

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