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Gay man in danger of deportation back to Uganda

Gay man in danger of deportation back to Uganda

A 24-year-old gay Ugandan activist is being held in a detention centre in Rotterdam waiting to be deported home where his life is at risk.

Kalanzi Marvin Richard lived openly as a gay man in Uganda and was imprisoned, beaten and tortured as a result. He came to the Netherlands in early 2011 and applied for asylum on his arrival.

The Dutch immigration authority acknowledged Kalanzi is a gay man fleeing from Uganda, but dispute how he got into the country and so refused his asylum.

Kalanzi was detained in Rotterdam in June 2011, and has been there ever since. His deportation back to Uganda, where gay people’s lives are at risk, could happen at any moment.

Uganda is one of the worst countries for gay people to live in Africa. A 'kill the gays' anti-homosexuality bill with a death penalty for 'aggravated homosexuality' went before parliament in February.

Student activists at Movement for Justice have started a petition calling for the immediate release of Kalanzi Marvin Richard from the immigration detention centre in Rotterdam.

‘We cannot let this happen to Kalanzi,’ the petition says. ‘LGBT asylum seekers like Kalanzi must have the right to live openly and in safety; this is basic Human Right. Many people like Kalanzi are stuck in Dutch prisons as though they committed crimes: escaping from persecution is not a crime. Kalanzi must be free to live and love as who he is.’