Jacqueline Nantumbwe is a lesbian woman from Uganda, where being queer is a criminal offence. In Uganda, politicians and religious leaders actively campaigned for the death penalty for homosexuality, and there is currently a life sentence for existing while gay. While in Uganda, Jacqueline and her girlfriend at the time, Rose, were caught, and as punishment, Jacqueline was imprisoned, tortured and raped to “correct” her. Her girlfriend was not heard from again.
Jacqueline is seeking asylum in the UK, and has faced horrific treatment from the Home Office over the last year. In order to have asylum granted, Jacqueline must “prove” that she and her partner are in a lesbian relationship. On 26th January, the Home Office transferred Jacqueline to Yarl’s Wood, the detention centre famous for abusing its inmates. She may face deportation.
The Home Office has a track record of appalling treatment of queer women from Uganda. Last month, Prossie N, a seriously ill lesbian from Uganda was deported back to a life of rape and persecution.
Jacqueline Nantumbwe needs our help. We need to apply pressure to protect her from the horrors she faces if deported. Jacqueline Nantumbwe must stay. Here are some things you can do.
- Sign the petition to the Home Office.
- Write to Jacqueline’s MP, Gerald Kaufman, asking for his support. You can find a model letter here. You may also send that letter to your own MP asking them to make a statement of support.
- Get in touch with Jacqueline and tell her you support her. You can find out more here.
- Finally, and most importantly, share her story. Talk about Jacqueline Nantumbwe. Make as much noise as you can.
The Home Office get away with such gross violations because they can get away with it without much public knowledge. Show them that this isn’t the case.