Saturday, June 5, 2010

Extradition of Gay Ugandans...

Remember the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of the Parliament of Uganda (2009)?

One of the really far reaching provisions in the bill was seeking to make sure that no citizen of the Republic of Uganda would ever be immune from that law.
First, Uganda would nullify any international treaties that were against this particular legislation. (Afterall, it was supposed to be showing the way to the rest of the world.)
Then, if any citizen of Uganda (or resident) dared to break the law, not in Uganda, but outside the country, then they would be extraditable, and prosecutable in Uganda.... And, I am not joking. That is the fact of the bill.

See why people consider this bill a legislative 'genocide'? Simply put, no citizen of the Republic would be immune from the law against homosexuality in Uganda, whether inside or outside the country. That was clause 16 of the bill. And of course the punishments were [still are] death and life imprisonment.

Some friendly countries offered us asylum... [Thanks. But you know, the battle was not only asylum. Its true that the migration of Jews from Europe before and during the Nazi era did help save a lot of lives. But not all could have gotten out.]

Anyway, on Sat, the Monitor published an article about the British offer of asylum for gay Ugandans.... and the fact that the law would have required our extradition. I am not sure of the exact context of that conversation, but here is the article.
UK to protect Ugandan gays asylum seekers
By Robert Mwanje
Posted Saturday, June 5 2010 at 00:00
The newspaper on May 23, quoted the British Home Secretary, Ms Theresa May as saying her government would block moves by the Ugandan government to force the extradition of Ugandan gay asylum-seekers.
According to the news paper, the move by the British government was applauded by campaigners, who are opposed to a proposed anti –gay law in Uganda. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was presented to Parliament by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati and it proposes severe punishments for gay sex. Mr Bahati, who says he wants to protect heterosexuals, has tried to find validation in claims that European gays are recruiting young boys in Ugandan schools.
Not an offence
However, according to the report by The Independent, the Home Office made it clear that the UK will only extradite people to their home countries if their “crime” was not an offence in Britain. Homosexuality is not an offence in UK.
A spokesman for British Refugee Action said: “This is a really welcome announcement and a very positive step. Obviously, we will want to sit down with ministers and seek clarification over how a ban on deportations will be administered, but it is excellent news that extraditions to Uganda have been categorically ruled out.”
Not interested
The move follows international protests over the sentencing last week of two gay men in Malawi to 14 years’ hard labour. Early this week, Ugandan gays living in the UK led by Mr Moses Mugisha staged a protest at the Malawi embassy and called for the release of the two Malawian gay men. A Home Office spokesman said: “The new Government is committed to stopping the deportation of asylum-seekers who have had to leave particular countries because their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution. We are considering the best way of implementing this policy. In terms of extradition, the UK will only extradite someone if they are wanted for an offence that is also a crime in the UK.”
The Minister of Information and National Guidance Ms Kabakumba Masiko said the government was not interested in gay asylum seekers but maintained that gay activities were unconstitutional and illegal in Uganda adding there is a clear procedure which the government can follow if “we wanted any criminal from another country.”
Whenever I see an article in the news about anything gay and Uganda these days, especially in the newspapers, I feel kind of goose pimply. That particular battle is not yet over. And the elections are just next year. The politicking is gearing up, and, I do fear that we shall be the fall guys.

Yeah, there are clear guidelines when Uganda wants any criminal from another country. And, I just dont want me and mine to be that 'criminal', ha ha ha ha!

Be well,

and do have a great weekend.



Hélder António said...

Hello, gug.
Good wishes.
Greetings from Portugal.

Erp said...

For those who seek refuge abroad, Uganda asking for extradition for violation of the anti-homosexual laws may the fastest way of proving persecution and getting asylum. Uganda not seeking extradition and waiting for the foreign country to deport them back to Uganda as not having proved their case of persecution is the danger.

One reason many Jews didn't escape Germany prior to WWII is that many countries refused to let them in or put so many conditions (such as requiring sponsors) that they couldn't get in. Sometimes children were let in (Kindertransport) but not the parents.

paulocanning said...

This is actually a bit of a ridiculous story, reflecting a ridiculous 'commitment' by UK government.

No one would be sent back as the extradition request itself would prove the 'fear of proven persecution' which the asylum claim would be based on in the first place.

Second, the UK would never send someone to be executed.

The new UK government hasn't actually committed to anything real yet, but at least it's making 'nice noises' :}

Unknown said...

Sad.... law is really harsh and against gay community sooner later even Uganda has to change the rules ......we are waiting fir the time, till then helps are open..

UK Gay Community

spiralx said...

[ No-one would be sent back, as... Second, the UK would never send someone to be executed. ]

And yet we know the recent Labour government were clearly involved with 'extraordinary rendition'.

And today's UK Guardian newspaper leads its main front-page story about government lawyers warning off judges making last-minute injunctions...

And last week an 18-year-old committed suicide in a detention centre because he thought he was about to be sent back to where-ever...

Sorry Paul, I think the UK has a huge amount of work to do to prove its commitment to human rights. They have a well-deserved reputation for "being economical with the truth".

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