12 Jun 2006

Deportation horror

One night several years ago Elizabeth was abducted from her home in Uganda, bundled into a car, and taken to a so-called 'Safe House' - an unofficial
Ugandan prison where torture is regularly practised. She was held
for 5 months, during which time she was repeatedly raped, whipped and
beaten. She eventually managed to escape, and fled to the UK in 2004
where she claimed asylum.

Last week a medical assessment reported that, as a result of the
repeated rape and torture, she is suffering from severe health
problems, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and recommended
that she should be sectioned.

Tonight, Sunday, 11th June, despite protests to the Chief Executive
of British Airways, Willie Walsh, she is believed to have been
deported on flight BA063
at 19:25 from Terminal Four to Uganda. Her friends fear that this deportation
will have fatal consequences for her.

It is inconceivable that someone who has sought protection and asylum in this country from rape and torture and who is in such a vulnerable situation, with mental health problems etc, can be deported before her legal team are even allowed to present her defence.It is also incredible that no account has been taken of her sexuality (Elizabeth is lesbian) and that she is sent back to a country where that sexuality is not accepted. Despite the opposition of many groups (including Workers Liberty, the Green Party of England & Wales's LGBT Group and her local MP) no account was taken of her situation by either the Home Office or BA, who are compliant with her deportation. It is an appalling comment on human rights and international standards of justice in this country.

Dr Joseph Healy
LGBT Group International Officer (Green Party of England & Wales)

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