More On: Prossy Kakooza (Uganda)

Posted on April 2, 2010. Filed under: Stories - from other sites | Tags: , , , , |

More information on the journey of Prossy has been posted.
This information was originally posted at and pulled from: http://madikazemi.blogspot.com/

Prossy Kakooza.
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Prossy Can Stay!
News from Manchester that Ugandan lesbian Prossy Kakooza has won her battle for asylum in the UK as the judge ruled in her favour and the Home Office are not going to appeal against the judge’s decision.

Prossy issued the following statement: 

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

She had received a great deal of support 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 MCC 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 ten friends who gave evidence in court on her behalf;
  • Ruth Heatley from the Immigration Aid Unit and barristers Mark Schwenk and Mel Plimmer, the lawyers who drafted and prepared her case.

 

Prossy fled Uganda after being tortured and raped by police officers.

Her family had discovered Prossy and her partner in bed together and had marched them, naked, to the police station where they were detained. Prossy was subjected to horrific sexual attacks and physical torture. She escaped to the UK after her family bribed the guards to release her – as they wanted to deal with their family shame by having Prossy killed.

The Home Office denied her asylum and the original judge believed Prossy’s claim to have been raped and tortured but felt it would be safe to return her to a different part of Uganda.

Prossy won at a hearing on 3rd July. A senior Immigration Judge dismissed a previous Immigration Tribunal ruling which denied Prossy asylum, calling the judgement “a mess”. This ruling allowed Prossy to present her claim afresh.
Posted by Paul Canning

Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Prossy Kakooza news
Prossy’s petition has thus far garnered 4, 508 signatures.

Prossy won at a hearing on 3rd July. A senior Immigration Judge dismissed a previous Immigration Tribunal ruling which denied Prossy asylum, calling the judgement “a mess”.

This ruling allowed Prossy to present her claim afresh to an Asylum Tribunal. This hearing would likely look at the possibility of “internal relocation” in Uganda and examine her identity as an out and proud lesbian in the UK.

So Prossy’s case was presented Friday 5th September at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in Manchester.

A number of Prossy’s friends volunteered to write statements and give evidence in person in court. The case lasted all morning, included evidence from ten people and arguments by the Home Office Presenter and by Prossy’s barrister, the excellent Melanie Plimmer.

The normal practice in the Asylum Tribunals is for the judge to reserve judgement. The Judge must make her decision in the next ten days but it will take three to four weeks before the Home Office let Prossy know this decision. This means that the judgement is issued by post some weeks after the hearing. Sometimes there can be quite a long wait after the hearing to get the judgement.

Please keep Prossy, Ruth, her solicitor, and Melanie, her barrister, in your thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks.

 Thursday, 3 July 2008
Prossy Kakooza wins latest fight
By Andy Braunston

Ugandan Lesbian Prossy Kakooza today won the latest fight in her battle for asylum in the UK.

A senior immigration judge dismissed a previous Immigration Tribunal ruling, denying Prossy asylum, calling the judgement “a mess”.

Prossy fled Uganda after being tortured and raped by police officers.

Her family had discovered Prossy and her partner in bed together and had marched them, naked, to the police station where they were detained. Prossy was subjected to horrific sexual attacks and physical torture. She escaped to the UK after her family bribed the guards to release her – as they wanted to deal with their family shame by having Prossy killed.

The Home Office denied her asylum but the original judge believed Prossy’s claim to have been raped and tortured but felt it would be safe to return her to a different part of Uganda.

This ignored the facts, and case law, which suggests that someone who has been so mistreated by the state is likely to suffer similar mistreatment in the future.

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.
Posted by Paul Canning

Gay men and women seeking refuge in UK still get rough deal as Rainbow Flag flies on embassies

Over the past week, the UK Government has earned itself considerable praise world-wide after flying ‘Rainbow Flags’ on two embassies in Eastern Europe during Gay Prides in Latvia and Poland.

Yet while the two flags were proudly flying on embassies in Riga and Warsaw, there are gay men and women who are seeking sanctuary in the United Kingdom, having fled their countries under threat of execution or lengthy imprisonment because of their sexuality.

And they are not being given a fair and compassionate hearing.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, headed by David Miliband, should be commended on its work in the LGBT rights field overseas. It’s recently-publish guidelines made a refreshing change.

But while the FCO takes justifiable praise, the Home Office remains, in those immortal words uttered by a Home Secretary of a couple of years ago, “not fit for purpose” when it comes to considering applications for refuge from gay men and women.

Thanks to campaigners, and considerable publicity on his case in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, nineteen year old gay Syrian Jojo Jako Yakobv has had his “day in court” (an immigration appeals tribunal) and has been released from a young offenders centre on orders from the tribunal.

But what was Jojo doing in a young offenders centre in the first place? What “offence” has he committed?

While it is still not certain that he will be granted refuge in the UK, things are looking far more hopeful that they were a month ago.

But for Ugandan lesbian Prossy Kakooza, things are not so good.

She arrived in the UK in July last year, having fled her country after being severely beaten and burned by police purely on the grounds of her sexuality. In addition she was repeatedly raped while in custody.

Such were her injuries that when she sought medical help on arrival in UK doctors were so shocked at the extent of her injuries that the police were called.

Prossy left behind a girlfriend who is still believed to be in detention in Uganda.

The Home Office accepts that Prossy was brutally raped and burned. Yet they want to deport her back to Uganda, saying that she can settle in another town.

But a phone call to the FCO would probably tell the Home Office that there is little freedom of movement in Uganda, as we enjoy in Europe, and that a person wishing to relocate needs what amounts to a “reference” from one’s home town or village.

Meanwhile, Prossy, a 26 year old university educated Ugandan lesbian, lives in fear of deportation, via Yarl’s Wood, to Kampala.

The Metropolitan Community Church in Manchester has started a campaign “Prossy Must Stay”, and her story.

The Home Office certainly needs to answer some questions. Do they ever consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about situations in “problem countries” when it comes to matters of sexuality? Do they even read the “situation reports” published by such respected human rights groups as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch?

From judgements and reasons given for deportation to gay and lesbian refugee applicants – not to mention a statement in the House of Lords by a Home Office Minister a few months ago, it would seem doubtful.

UK Gay News has actually heard an immigration appeal tribunal in Birmingham tell a gay Iranian, who fled his country when the ‘religious police’ knocked on the door of his home to arrest him, that he should be returned to Iran where he could make an “application to the British Embassy in the usual way”.

And in another case involving an Iranian, a tribunal questioned the discrepancy in dates on an application and accompanying paperwork, refusing to believe that the calendar used is not the same as used in the West. Application was refused.

There might be very good reason why some applications from refugees are turned down. And it is accepted that this can be a very emotive subject.

But from where UK Gay News stands, it looks as though the Home Office is making decisions, sometimes literally life or death, to hit deportation targets, which in turn pleases the UK tabloids.
At the end of the day, the UK is not ruled by the largely xenophobic and anti-gay tabloid press.

The government should return to the traditional “British way” of compassion based on fairness and forget the emotive and ‘anti’ language of the tabloids.

One can but hope that the lead taken by David Miliband at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is noted – and acted upon – by Jacqui Smith at the Home Office.
Posted by Paul Canning

 Sunday, 8 June 2008
Prossy Kakooza Must Stay

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, Leah. 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.

This story is located at: http://madikazemi.blogspot.com/

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