From Persecution to Persecution: LGBTI Refugees in Uganda and Kenya

Repost from council member Human Rights First

“Why would a gay refugee come to Uganda?”  This was a logical question raised by a Ugandan human rights defender the other day while we were in Kampala doing research on the protection challenges facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees in the region.

Uganda – where an infamously draconian “Kill the Gays” bill was introduced in the last session of Parliament, where last year a local newspaper published the names and photos of 100 alleged homosexuals under the headline “Hang Them,” where current law criminalizes same sex acts, where many police officers are viewed as a source of persecution against LGBTI persons rather than protection, where homophobic violence is committed by civilians with perceived impunity, where LGBTI persons are commonly discriminated against in seeking housing, employment and medical care, and where LGBTI Ugandans flee from – is far from being a “safe haven” for any LGBTI refugee. Rather, Uganda offers its own set of dire hardships for those to who seek protection there. Continue Reading

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