A gay teenager is facing deportation from Sweden back to Nigeria.
Franco Kaodimuo fled to Sweden in 2015, after his boyfriend died from lynch justice.
At 14, Kaodimuo was promised a football career in India, but it turned out he had been sold as a slave, The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights said.
‘Several’ of the young man’s friends, who also came to India from Nigeria, died because of the harsh living conditions in the football clubs.
After two and a half years, Kaodimuo fled back to Nigeria, together with his boyfriend.
A neighbor back home caught the couple having sex and alerted others, quickly gathering a mob.
They beat Kaodimuo’s boyfriend; unable to flee, the young man died.
Kaodiumo fled and spent a few nights on the street, until a relative gave him money to buy a passport and a plane ticket to Sweden.
There he had to speak to the Migration Board about his sexuality.
Because he didn’t speak the language, Kaodimuo was supposed received help from an interpreter.
They wanted him to speak about his personal feelings rather than any sexual experiences, as the teen later realised.
But the interpreter said he’d refuse help.
‘If you talk about your feelings, I will say that I do not know what you’re talking about and abandon you,’ he said.
Kaodimuo didn’t dare tell the court about having deeper feelings for his best friend – later boyfriend – which had been the couple’s secret from when they were 12 or 13 years old.
As a result, the Swedish Migration Board and the Migration Court say they don’t believe Kaodimuo is gay, because he didn’t speak about his feelings and didn’t come to terms with being gay until he was 16.
He has been denied leave to appeal, so the Migration Court’s ruling stands.
But if he is to return to Nigeria, the teen is at danger of violence of even death.
Nigeria is often named as the world’s most homophobic country, because of its strict anti-gay laws.