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D 19 juin 2011     H 04:23     A Mongezi Mhlongo     C 0 messages

As speculation mounts on the future of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in the Ugandan Parliament which remains in limbo, a lesbian asylum seeker in the United Kingdom is set to be sent back to Uganda, where she might face arrest and even death as some of the provisions in the Bill call for the killing of homosexuals.

Betty Tibikawa, 22 is currently detained in Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedford, is set to be deported from the UK back to Uganda after losing her asylum claim.

Surprisingly this comes shortly after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that people would no longer be deported to countries where they are likely to face persecution over their sexual orientation.

Tibikawa told the Guardian, “I can’t sleep and I’m having terrible nightmares about what will happen to me if I’m sent back to Uganda. My family have disowned me because I’m a lesbian and I’m convinced I’d be killed if I’m sent home.”

According to the Guardian, Tibikawa was attacked by harassed by three men in Uganda because of her sexuality who branded with a hot iron and left her unconscious.

Frank Mugisha Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) said, “She has been exposed to so much media attention, now everyone knows about her and where she lives, if she comes back home she could fall in the wrong hands, and might be subjected to worse than just harassment and the sad part is that we won’t be able to help her, the media has really put her in so much risk.”

Tibikawa is one of the many LGBTI Ugandans outed by the notorious Red Pepper magazine, which has recently used inappropriate words in its coverage on the murder of gay activist David Kato suggesting that, he lured men into gay sex, which then caused uproar within the LGBTI community.

Kato was found murdered on January 26, this year at his home just weeks after his picture was published by Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stones which called for the hanging of homosexuals.

Mugisha further said “since the murder of David, harassment and torture of LGBTI people in Uganda has increased and we are constantly living in fear.”

Meanwhile the Anti-homosexuality Bill, drafted by MP David Bahati, was introduced by Bahati to toughen Uganda’s already stern laws against homosexuality remains in limbo.

Uganda’s parliament was adjourned on May 13 without debating the controversial bill which includes the death penalty for some homosexual acts. The bill, first introduced in 2009, could still be brought up when the new parliament meets later this year. According to media reports, the Bill was shelved by parliamentary speaker, Edward Ssekandi, because of time constraints.

“Ever since the Ugandan Parliament closed and reopened, we are not sure what is going to happen. There have been talks in parliament suggesting that the Bill will resurface, so we really don’t know what is going to happen,” added Mugisha.

Currently Section 140 of the Uganda Penal Code penalises “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” with imprisonment of up to 14 years.

Mongezi Mhlongo (BTM Senior Reporter)

Source : http://www.mask.org.za