Lesbian asylum seeker claims she was gang-raped and left fearing for her life after being sent back to Uganda six years ago when British officials caught her in bed with a man

  • The 26-year-old, known as PN, came to the country in 2010 and stayed past visa
  • She stayed because she feared her uncle would kill her if she returned to Uganda
  • Officials rejected her asylum claim because they did not think she was a lesbian 

A lesbian asylum seeker kicked out of the UK because she was caught in bed with a man will today return to Britain with her baby son she claims was conceived after being gang-raped in her native Uganda.

The 26-year-old came to the country in 2010, aged 17, and stayed beyond her visa because she was fearful her uncle would kill her because of her sexuality.

The woman, known only as PN, was arrested after her visa expired and was sent to the Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire before being deported in 2013 after her asylum case was rejected.

But, six years on, the High Court has ruled she must be brought back because she was unlawfully detained and deported without being given the chance to prove she had relationships with women in Uganda. 

Speaking ahead of her flight back to the UK today, she said she was gang-raped after being thrown out of Britain.

PN said: ‘I was sleeping one night, the people came, they banged on the door, they stole everything and they raped me. I was on my own in the room.

‘I couldn’t tell the police as I don’t want them to know who I am – I moved away from that place’.

A Ugandan lesbian kicked out of Britain after being found in bed with a man is coming back in Britain after a judge ruled she was unlawfully detained. File photo

She told the Independent: ‘I wanted the doctor to terminate the baby, as I didn’t know if I would be able to manage it, but the doctor said that if I tried to do that I might lose my life. The only people I have in my life are my baby and the people who are helping me in the UK’.

PN is entitled to claim financial damages from from the government because she was unlawfully detained and deported.

Experts also claim her case could allow thousands of other people the chance to appeal against deportations. 

Describing why she came to Britain aged 17 she added: ‘When I was living in Uganda before I was in the UK, I was staying with my grandma and people knew my sexuality, so they were hurting me and the girl I was with. Then they took my grandma’s life because they knew me.

‘She died because of my sexuality. They were looking for me and I ran away and they found my grandma there in our home, by the time I came back my grandma was lying down, dead’.  

During her recent appeal Home Office officials told the High Court when they raided her flat for visa violations they found her in bed with a man.

A judge at the High Court (pictured) found she was unlawfully detained and deported

Investigators added the woman had not provided any evidence of a same-sex relationship in the UK or Uganda.

In a judgement, published by Mr Justice Lewis this month, he ruled the woman was denied the chance to show she had been in a lesbian relationship in Uganda.

He ruled the fast track appeals system – first introduced by Tony Blair’s government in 2005 – did not give PN sufficient time to get evidence to support her claim. 

Mr Justice Lewis quashed the decision and ordered the Home Secretary to ‘use his best endeavours to facilitate the return of PN to the UK.’

PN is entitled to claim financial damages from from the government because she was unlawfully detained and deported. 

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and the LGBT community can often face violence and discrimination. 

Movement for Justice, a human rights group helping to support the woman told The Guardian the Home Office would likely appeal the decision.

The woman says she was gang raped after she returned to Uganda, pictured in a file photo

A Home Office spokesman was not able to confirm when PN would be returning to the UK, or the likely amount of damages. 

PN insisted after being caught in bed with a man that they had not had sex on that occasion, although she also admitted that she was seeing him because she ‘wanted a child’.

In later interviews, PN explained that she realised she was a lesbian at about 13 after being raped five years earlier by her stepfather. PN then alleged that she’d had a number of affairs with women.

Her first relationship, she said, was with a woman called Grace, aged about 20, when she was 14. It lasted for three months. The same year, she said, she had an affair with a woman called Justine who was 22.

This relationship was discovered by two youths who secretly watched the two women making love. Local vigilantes then threatened violence against her family, she said.

Her last gay relationship in Uganda was, she claimed, with a 21-year-old woman called Rose, who arranged her escape by buying her a false passport to come to the UK.

Once in Britain, PN says that she had a relationship with a woman called Ruth, although she produced no evidence. She also claimed she was in a relationship with a married woman called Mildred.

That said, despite being held in detention at Yarl’s Wood for several months, the mysterious Mildred did not visit her and PN could produce no proof that she existed.

Home Office officials said when they raided PN’s flat they found her in bed with a man – PN says they never had sex

Only Rose could be found. She was living in Uganda and very belatedly produced an affidavit confirming her affair with PN.

Despite this, the Home Office ruled: ‘The only reliable evidence was that PN was found in bed with a man and . . . the only reasonable conclusion is that she is in a heterosexual relationship with this man and is not a lesbian.’ 

As a result, PN was taken to an airport in December 2013 to be flown back to Uganda. But the pressure group intervened, confronting the UK immigration team at the airport and PN was subsequently returned to Yarl’s Wood. ‘The guards cancelled my ticket to go on Ethiopian Airways,’ PN explains on the recording.

On a second attempt to send her home, also with Ethiopian Airlines, she was escorted onto the plane. But it is understood that after a passenger outcry in sympathy for PN, the pilot refused to fly her back to Uganda.

It was only on the third occasion that PN was finally removed from Britain — on Kenya Airways. She explained: ‘When we reached the airport, I was in a van and they lifted me to the plane.

‘There were three seats and I was in the middle. There were two female guards each side. They put me in handcuffs and pinned my arms down. Two male guards stood in front of me to hide me and stop the passengers seeing what was happening to me.’


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