Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It Doesn't Count Because I Was Crossing My Fingers, See? - Nick Clegg

Oh man, this is so incredibly fucked up. A twenty-two year old woman, Betty Tibikawa, is being deported from the UK after her asylum claim was rejected. After being brutally branded for being a lesbian she's being sent back to Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal and one of the most dangerous places in the world for gay and lesbian people. The account of what happened to her is sickening:
Tibikawa had just finished high school and was due to go to university in Kampala when she was attacked by three men who taunted her about her sexuality. They pinned her down in a disused building and branded her on her inner thighs with a hot iron. They left her unconscious and when she finally managed to get home she was confined to bed for two months. An independent medical report has confirmed that her scars are consistent with being branded with a hot iron.
Only a week after the deputy prime minister announced "that the coalition had ended the practice of deporting people to countries where they face persecution because of their sexual orientation", Tibikawa doesn't get the benefit of this new practice because, and fuck, I wish I was making this up: "The [UK Border Agency] do not dispute that Ms Tibikawa has scars caused by a hot flat iron, but conclude that she did not suffer any ill-treatment in Uganda". That's right, they acknowledge that some sick piece of garbage took a hot iron to her, but it's inconclusive as to whether it happened in Uganda, a notoriously anti-gay country. Right. 

It is outrageous that countries like the UK are not doing everything that they can to help gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual people escape abuse, torture and death. What the fuck is the point of having a policy of not deporting people to countries where they'll be persecuted if you're not going to follow through? The whole things just reeks of using people as political pawns ("hey look how queer/human rights-friendly we are!"), when they are facing a life or death situation. Perhaps if queer people, if POC, if people from developing countries, if women were seen as equals then they wouldn't have their asylum claims rejected and get sent packing.

Must go see to this rage induced nose-bleed now.

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