Demo in London following death of deported Ugandan lesbian

A demo will be held in London tomorrow in memory of a Ugandan lesbian who died last Friday after being deported from the UK.

Jackie Nanyonjo died “as a result of the injuries inflicted by the Home Office’s licenced thugs who deported her from Britain on 10th January 2013,” the organisers of the demo say. “Jackie was a fighter for herself and for others: a lesbian who escaped from anti-gay persecution and a brutal forced marriage, and a member of the Movement for Justice.”

Jackie went through what Movement for Justice and other organisations described as “the mental torture of the immigration and asylum system, with its arbitrary, subjective decisions and impossible demands to ‘prove that you are a lesbian’.”

They say that the UK Border Agency and an Asylum Tribunal dismissed out-of-hand the ample evidence of friends and her partner that Jackie was a lesbian, and rejected her claim for asylum.

When the UKBA tried to deport her in December Jackie resisted bravely despite the brutality she suffered at the hands of the ‘escorts’ provided by the contractor, Reliance.

She forced them to abandon the attempt and when she got back to Yarl’s Wood she lodged a complaint to the UKBA – a complaint the UKBA rejected.

Fearing for her life if returned to Uganda, Jackie physically resisted her deportation. Movement for Justice says: “On 10th January, on Qatar Airways Flight QR76, Jackie fought bravely for her freedom with all the strength she could gather against four Reliance guards. She continued fighting when the guards drew curtains round their end of the plane to hide their crimes. She struggled for as long as she could until, beaten up, half strangled and bent double, she was overcome by the pain in her chest and neck and was unable to breathe.

“When Jackie arrived at Entebbe Airport the ‘escort’ party handed her over to the Ugandan authorities, who held her for many more hours without any medical attention. When family members finally met her, long after the flight had landed, Jackie was in terrible pain and vomiting blood; they rushed her to a clinic, but in a country with widespread poverty and limited medical facilities they were unable to get the medical attention Jackie needed. Since Jackie was in hiding as a known lesbian, protected by relatives, every trip to a doctor or hospital involved a risk to her life and to the safety of her family. They were condemned to watch the agonising decline of Jackie’s health and strength over the next two months.”

The organisers of the demo hold that the Home Office and the UKBA are guilty of Jackie’s murder.

You are invited to the demo calling for an end to detention and deportations.

Venue: Home Office, Marsham Street
Date: Thursday, 14th March 2013
Time: 12:30

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