Lacking proof of love
Homosexuality can be perilous in Uganda. Two Ugandan women who say they are a lesbian couple are due to be deported from Germany as their asylum bid has been denied. The judges claim their testimony of love was “remote from life”.
The two 20 and 39 years-old women have fled their home country from fear of beatings and rape, they say. They got to know at an asylum centre where they took German classes together.
In Uganda homosexuality is more than a taboo. Homosexuals’ lives are not only threatened by lynch law. The Eastern African country’s penal code § 145a justifies imprisonment of up to 14 years for homosexuals. Just recently, the controversial “anti-homosexuality bill” was issued in parliament once more. If passed, the bill could restore the possibility of life imprisonment for same-sex love.
In 2010, the weekly tabloid Rolling Stone even published a list of homosexuals including their names and addresses. The paper called on its readers to “Hang them”. Last year, prominent gay-rights activist David Kato, who filed a suit against the magazine, was killed by anonymous murderers.
After Germany’s Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) had ordered one of the two women to be deported to Uganda, the Bavarian administrative court in Augsburg has now approved this ruling. The judges uttered doubts about the love between the two women, saying their statements were “remote from life” and “inexplicable”.
The judges claim the women knew about the dangers for homosexuals in Uganda from the media and thus would make use of this fact in order to have their asylum bid approved. One of the women now awaits another trial as the officials have mistakenly noted Nigeria as her home place in their grounds for the judgment. This gives her lawyer the chance to contest the verdict.
Rita Braaz from the Munich based lesbian advice centre LeTra comments:
It is absurd and inhuman that the court does not believe the women. As we already guide and psychosocially support them for months, we have no doubts at all about our clients’ lesbian identity, let alone their life stories.”
Agnes Andrae from the Bavarian refugee council adds:
It is totally cynical that Germany on the hand condemns Uganda’s anti-gay bill while on the other these women who are already affected by this are threatened with further persecution or imprisonment in case of deportation.”