News & Views Monday 1st March to Sunday 7th  March 2021


Rodney, Godfrey and Yudaya in Danger of Deportation to Uganda

Same-sex liaisons are illegal in Uganda. People convicted of homosexual acts can be sent to jail for the rest of their lives. Some gay Ugandans survive by staying under the radar and live a shadowy half-life, presenting a straight face to the world. Others manage to leave their homeland, seeking asylum where they won't be persecuted for being who they are.

Godfrey is both gay and Ugandan, he says he was expelled from school, rejected by his family and sacked from his job.

Yudaya is both gay and Ugandan, she says she cannot contact her family and is being sought by police.

Rodney is both gay and Ugandan, he says he was forced to live on the streets and used to carry poison in his pocket in case he needed to kill himself before getting arrested again.

Alll three are now in the UK and have applied for asylum. None has succeeded.

Read more BBC News,  

Number of People Granted Asylum or Protection in UK Halved in 2020

Government data reveals there were 9,381 grants of protection in 2020, compared with 19,408 the previous year – a drop of 52 per cent. The Home Office said the lower numbers were due to fewer initial decisions being made on asylum applications, as well as the pause to resettlement activity after the pandemic hit in March 2020. The figures show 7,546 people were granted asylum last year, down 40 per cent compared with 2019, and 823 refugees were granted protection through resettlement, 85 per cent fewer than in the previous year.

During the same period the number of asylum applications also decreased, down to 29,456 compared with 35,737 in 2019 – a drop of 18 per cent. There was also a considerable increase in the number of individuals in the asylum support system - most of whom will be in Home Office accommodation - with the total figure rising by 28 per cent in 2020, from 50,091 to 64,041. This is due to the pandemic causing the asylum decision process - which was already beset with delays - to slow down further, as well as a pause on individuals who have received decisions being moved out of accommodation, due to Covid safety restrictions.

Read more: May Bulman, Independent,

Stop the Deportaion of Birmingham Gay Activist Espoir Njei

A Birmingham LGBT asylum seeker fears she will be arrested or even killed if deported back to Cameroon by the Home Office. Espoir Njei claimed asylum when she first arrived in the UK three years ago but is still waiting for the life or death' decision to grant her refugee status. She was told that she would have to prove her sexuality and has since become involved in LGBT rights activism - appearing on TV. However, she fears her high-profile could see her targeted for arrest - or worse - if she is deported back to her home country.

She said: "I came to the UK three years ago from Cameroon because I was fleeing prosecution because of my sexuality. "It is punishable by our legal system. You are imprisoned and have to pay a huge fine, but it doesn't end there. If you are caught by your friends or family, there is a punishment called mob beating, where you might be killed. Tires could also be put over you, and you will be burned, but no one says a word because you are a lesbian or gay, and this is the rule. They see it as a white man thing. I have recently received threats that tell me that whatever I am doing must stay in the UK, in the 'white man country' and don't come back to Cameroon." Cameroon is one of more than 70 countries where homosexuality is still illegal.

Things you can do to stop the deportation of Espoir Njei

1) Sign Espoir's online petition: Espoir must stay Gay activist Espoir Njei prays for safety as she waits for her asylum decision. It is illegal to be LGBT in Cameroon with five years imprisonment. Many are murdered for just being who that is. Fellow human rights activist Peter Tatchell said, "I first met Espoir in 2018 when we attended a rally at Westminster abbey against homophobia in the commonwealth; Cameroon is unsafe for all LGBT people, especially for LGBT people like Espoir" The name Espoir means hope.

Sign Here -

2) Write to your MP and inform them of Espoir's plight

3) Write to your Councilor ask them to support Espoir



Priti Patel U-Turn on End to Detention For Refugee Women

A new network of immigration detention units for women is being quietly planned by the Home Office, contrary to previous pledges to reform the system and reduce the number of vulnerable people held. An initial detention centre, based in County Durham on the site of a former youth prison, will open for female asylum seekers this autumn. In addition to the facility near Consett, Home Office officials told asylum groups last week they were considering a number of “smaller capacity detention units” for women around the UK, though it is unclear if the notorious Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire would be among them.

Alphonsine Kabagabo, director of the charity Women for Refugee Women, called the creation of a detention centre in the north-east a “betrayal of previous commitments made by ministers”. Separately, a pioneering pilot scheme to ensure vulnerable women could live in the community instead of being detained appears to have quietly been wound down by the Home Office and will close next month.

Read more: Mark Townsend, Guardian,  

Failure to Enact Public Duty Law 'Has Worsened England Inequality in Pandemic'

The failure of successive governments to enact part of the Equality Act, which would have imposed a duty to address socio-economic disadvantage, has exacerbated inequalities in England during the coronavirus pandemic, a thinktank has claimed. The Runnymede Trust’s report, Facts Don’t Lie, says that the public sector duty provision would have imposed a legal obligation on education authorities in England to ensure working class children on free school meals were fed properly while schools were shut and had access to laptops for remote learning.

Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 requires authorities, also including local councils, the police and most government departments, to carry out their functions having “due regard to the desirability of exercising them in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage”. The section was activated in Scotland in 2018 and is due to commence in Wales at the end of next month but has not been effected in England, an omission the Runnymede Trust says must be remedied.

Haroon Siddique, Guardian,  

Stop the Deportation of Osime Brown

Osime Brown – a Black 21-year-old autistic man with learning disabilities – is facing deportation from his home in Britain to Jamaica. He was imprisoned in 2018 under the joint enterprise act for the theft of a mobile phone, and lost his leave to remain. The Home Office now intends to deport Brown from his home in Britain to Jamaica, a country he left when he was four years old.

Throughout his tumultuous life, Brown has been systematically failed by the services that were supposed to protect him – the education, health and social care, and criminal justice systems. Brown has a learning disability, has high support needs, and now suffers from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his distress.

Regarding the Home Office’s plan to deport her son to Jamaica, Brown’s mother said: He doesn’t have anybody there. He hasn’t been back to Jamaica, he doesn’t know Jamaica. When he found out the Home Office wanted to remove him he said: “Mum, is there a bus that I can come back on?” His removal would be a death sentence. She told the Independent:

Read more: ‘The Canary’,