Tag Archives: robert kityo

Robert Kityo – a gay asylum seeker from Uganda detained by the Home Office on 10th November 2015

Robert Must Stay – A Right To Be Gay!

Latest Update – 9th December

Today Robert and his legal team heard that the Home Office have refused his Fresh Claim for asylum despite the huge amount of information within it which shows that Robert is an integral part of the LGBT community within Manchester.

However, they have conceded that there is enough new material that a judge should consider this case in court.  Whilst disappointing, it is good that the Home Office concede that a judge should consider Robert’s appeal against the decision, read the evidence, hear Robert and his witnesses and come to a decision.

We don’t yet know when this appeal will be heard – we do know, however, that the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in Manchester is very busy so it may be some months before Robert has his case heard.


Background

Robert KityoRobert Kityo is a young gay man from Uganda who is seeking sanctuary in the United Kingdom due to the homophobic Ugandan regime’s treatment of LGBT people which imprisons us for life simply for how we love.

The Home Office believe Robert can live discreetly in Uganda despite his being an out and proud member of Manchester’s LGBT community.

Robert_Kityo4For the last two years Robert has been an active and very visible member of the LGBT community in Manchester. He is:

  • A volunteer for the LGBT Foundation – helping staff two Pride festivals, volunteering in the office and even being a model in some literature on gay men’s health.
  • A member of the city’s LGBT Metropolitan Congregation of the United Reformed Church.
  • Active in a group for black LGBT people, Rainbow Noir.
  • Involved in producing programmes for Gaydio – the city’s LGBT radio station.
  • Involved in a variety of projects for LGBT people in Salford.

The Home Office were given a huge bundle containing details of Robert’s community involvement, legal arguments and witness statements from many people – including the Anglican Bishop of Manchester – yet they don’t think there is enough material to put before a judge!

The Home Office don’t think that Robert is openly gay so would not be at risk on return to Uganda! A glance at his Facebook page shows how ridiculous this argument is.

Robert_Kityo3Worse, the Home Office made their decision to reject Robert’s claim on 8th October but didn’t inform Robert or his solicitors so they could make representations. Instead, they waited until Robert routinely attended his local immigration reporting centre today (10th November), served the decision on him without warning, and immediately detained him. They are now preparing to remove him from the UK and return him to the homophobic hell which is Uganda.

Robert’s lawyers are making legal moves to compel the Home Office to reconsider or, at the very least, to refer the matter to the courts where an impartial decision can be made and where Robert’s many friends and supporters will be able to give evidence on his behalf.

Petition

Please sign the petition to the Home Secretary asking her to both accept Robert’s submissions as a Fresh Claim for Asylum (which gives him the right to appeal to a court) and to grant him asylum in the UK.

You can do this by clicking on the link below and completing the online petition form which will then appear in a new window:

http://www.change.org/p/rt-hon-theresa-may-mp-robert-must-stay-a-right-to-be-gay


Update – 11th November

As the petition reaches almost 1000 signatures, Robert is very touched that so many people have taken his case to their hearts.  His legal team have sent a pre-action letter to the Home Office – the first stage in a Judicial Review – and have given them until Friday to respond. If, as we suspect, they don’t respond it is likely that legal action will commence next week. Please do keep spreading the word about Robert’s plight; share the petition on Facebook (if you haven’t already done so), or on your webpage if you are a member of a church or community group.

Update – 13th November

Thank you to everyone who has signed the petition – we now have almost 1,700 signatures which is amazing considering the petition only started on Tuesday. Robert was told yesterday evening (12 Nov) that he will be transferred to Dungavel House Immigration Removal Centre, Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, ML10 6RF, Scotland, tomorrow (14th Nov).

The Judicial Review proceedings will start on Monday (16th Nov) – there is a chance the application may be submitted today (13th Nov) but that might not be possible. Additionally we are working with some reporters to get his story out to a wider audience.

Please hold Robert in your thoughts and prayers; we are hoping to arrange people from local United Reformed Churches to visit him at Dungavel House to help him keep his spirits up. And please continue to share the petition with your friends, on Facebook and anywhere else where you think it will make a difference – every time someone signs it, an email is generated to the Home Secretary!

Update 14th November (1)

During the early evening yesterday (13th Nov), in response to a pre-action letter which Robert’s lawyers had sent to the Home Office notifying them of an intended application for Judicial Review, the Home Office notified Robert that they have withdrawn their decision to reject his fresh submissions as they accept it is arguable that insufficient scrutiny was given to the new evidence which Robert submitted.

Robert was informed of this around 5pm and was told by the official who gave him the letter that it was “likely” he would be released from detention, however the letter itself only concedes that the Home Office will “review” their decision to detain him.

Robert’s expectations were that his release was only hours away, however no decision over that “review” of his detention seems yet to have been made, and so Robert remains in detention at Pennine House but has not been transferred to Dungavel House as was previously scheduled for today.

In summary, the only decision from the Home Office so far is that they have withdrawn their rejection of Robert’s fresh submissions; and their only concessions are that they will further review Robert’s new evidence and that they will review his continued detention.

Update – 14th November (2)

Robert was released from detention at 1.30pm on Saturday 14th November. We await further decisions from the Home Office as they re-scrutinise the new evidence which Robert submitted in October.

Update – 9th December

Today Robert and his legal team heard that the Home Office have refused his Fresh Claim for asylum despite the huge amount of information within it which shows that Robert is an integral part of the LGBT community within Manchester.

However, they have conceded that there is enough new material that a judge should consider this case in court.  Whilst disappointing, it is good that the Home Office concede that a judge should consider Robert’s appeal against the decision, read the evidence, hear Robert and his witnesses and come to a decision.

We don’t yet know when this appeal will be heard – we do know, however, that the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in Manchester is very busy so it may be some months before Robert has his case heard.


Press and media coverage


For any further enquiries about Robert’s campaign, or to provide additional information to the campaign team, please use the message form below. [Note: the message form is NOT the petition.]