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Ugandan gay activist seeks asylum in UK


Ugandan gay activist seeks asylum in UK

Fearful; Hakim Besigye

While recent media reports have been awash with stories of distressed Ugandans in Asia and Arab countries facing drug-related charges, a born of Kabale in South Western Uganda and self-confessed gay rights activist, handed himself over to immigration authorities in the United Kingdom seeking asylum there on grounds that his life was in danger back home if he dared return to Uganda.

Residents of Kabale say that Besigye, with the help of a business partner, sneaked into the UK after his pro-gay views rattled community members who vowed to lynch him.

The threat on his life in Kabale re-surfaced once again after he fled to Wakiso a few months later, where residents reportedly attacked his home for allegedly harbouring pro-sodomy views – which is widely considered taboo by many Ugandans.

Now however, The Sunrise has learnt that Besigye may soon be bundled onto British Airways back to Uganda, something he loathes.

Reports suggest that Besigye has spent up to two months in UK’s Immigration Detention – a sort of prison facility that is used hold persons facing detention.

But if the testimony of one Prurity Kyomuhangi, who was Besigye’s neighbour in Wakiso, is anything to go by, Besigye’s gay stance may be a source of torment for him when he comes back.

Kyomuhangi narrated to this reporter that: “A few years ago the whole village was against Besigye because of his sodomy stance which is not only illegal but also considered taboo in Uganda.”

She adds though that Besigye deep pockets at the time saved him from facing the law. “We decided to take matters in our own hands because the police was doing little about our complaints.”

Since President Yoweri Museveni assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Act in February this year, homosexuals and supporters of homosexuality have found a hard time in Uganda.

For example, In May this year, Police officers raided a US-funded Makerere University Walter Reed project offices in Kampala on allegations that it was training youth in homosexuality.

Although the centre has since been re-opened, the threat of arrest or prosecution facing supporters of the vice such as Besigye is real and its not just from the law but the community members as well.



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