Search

African Rainbow Family

Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTIQ) People of African Heritage including Refugees and wider Black and Asian Minority Ethnic Groups

Category

President Barack Obama

Rally To Stop Mass Deportations of LGBTI Asylum Seekers To Nigeria – End Charter Flights

 

Rally To Stop Mass Deportations of LGBTI Asylum Seekers To Nigeria – End Charter Flights

Friends,

The Nigerian government through her High Commission Office in London, is complicit in colluding with the UK Home Office Immigration Enforcement in their ethnic / immigrants cleansing mass deportations of LGBTI asylum seekers back to Nigeria using the dubious charter flight regime.

Nigeria in 2014, passed an insidious anti LGBTI law – the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill adjudged to be one of the harshest and most punitive of the many laws in nearly 80 countries that criminalise Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.

“Since the insidious 2014 anti-LGBTI law was passed in Nigeria, there have been waves of police arrests and torture, anti-LGBTI mob attacks, public whippings, evictions from homes, harassment and discrimination against ‘suspected’ LGBTIs. Equality advocacy organisations and activists in Nigeria are not spared mistreatments” says Aderonke Apata, LGBTIQ Advocate from Nigeria. 

On 17th May, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), for which the theme is ‘family’, we are holding a solidarity rally to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow LGBTI siblings and family in the UK facing the threat of deportations back to Nigeria and other homophobic countries to say no more LGBTI asylum seekers’ deportations to Nigeria. Visit the event page here.

Many LGBTI asylum seekers have been deported back to Nigeria using the charter flights. These charter flights usually leave from an undisclosed UK airport in middle of the nights with specially trained escort guards (one escort assigned to one deportee) on a Cargo Aircraft! Each person on the charter flight costs up to £5000 on each trip that tears and rips apart partners, parents from their children, people from the community that they have developed in the UK for many years. Amongst the people deported are:
• LGBTI asylum seekers with potential 14 years imprisonment
and jungle justice from non state agents upon arrival in Nigeria are deported.
• Many with ongoing asylum and immigration cases denied the right to justice by their deportations.
• Many whom are UNFIT to fly.
• Many whom have been in the UK for over decades.
• Many whom have made the UK their homes.
• Many with no ties to Nigeria.
• Many whom are not Nigerians.

The case of Oyekunle, a gay man from Nigeria is just an example of LGBTI people being unlawfully deported back to Nigeria via charter flights as reported by The Unity Centre Glasgow during the MASS DEPORTATION charter flight of January 31st 2017 thus:

“Oyekunle is a gay man from Nigeria – one of the most dangerous countries in the world for LGBT people – who came to the UK 4 years ago and claimed asylum. After his initial screening interview he was briefly detained. He has never had a full interview because the Home Office sent the notification to the wrong address. They are arguing that his claim has lapsed; he has been detained again and is scheduled to be part of Tuesday night’s mass deportation to Nigeria by charter flight. You can ring Stansted Airport and Titan Airways to tell them that it is unlawful for them to remove Oyekunle from the UK whilst his asylum claim has not been answered by the Home Office”

The above is confirmed by Olakunle Akindele Bamgbose, acting high commissioner to the UK in an interview with The Guardian newspaper last year that “UK pressures Nigeria to help Home Office increase deportations”. Olakunle said:

“His embassy was being asked to help remove people who were sick, had immigration appeals outstanding, had no ties to Nigeria after living for many years in the UK and who in some cases were not even Nigerian.”

“It’s a big issue for us here at the embassy,” he said. “There are cases where people have been here for decades. Some of them are not even Nigerian: they came to Britain on false passports originally but the UK want us to accept them back to Nigeria” he continued.

 Despite the above facts from Olakunle Akindele Bamgbose, the charter flights continue on a monthly basis wrecking havoc to many lives.

Many people on the charter flights are said even not to be Nigerians! Even if they are all Nigerians, we still say no to deportations of LGBTI asylum seekers and all mass deportations including using charter flights.

We believe the use of charter flights are criminal, cruel, racist and against the human rights of the people deported. Our belief is corroborated by this briefing, “Collective Expulsion: The Case Against Britain’s Mass Deportation Charter Flights” by Corporate Watch and Stop Deportation on the Home Office’s use of charter flights for deportations.

Angered by the negative effects that UK’s mass deportations have on people, activists from the Stop Charter Flights – End Deportations, Plane Stupid and Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants protested in a direct action against a chartered flight at the Stanted Airport in a ten-hour occupation of the runway to prevent the mass deportation due to deport 50 people to Nigeria and Ghana from happening on 28th March 2017.

Friends, would you join us to keep LGBTI asylum seekers safe from persecution, imprisonment and possibly deaths? Join Stop The Mass Deportation Of LGBTI Asylum Seekers on 17th May 2pm at Nigeria high commission and DEMAND that:

1) Nigeria High Commission must stop issuing Travel Documents for deportation purposes
2)Nigerian Government must not allow the landing of charter flights on Nigerian soil
3) Nigerian Government, take a stand against deportations of your citizens
4) Demand the British Government to allow Nigerians whom have lived in the UK for at least 5 years to be given right to remain in the UK – they are Commonwealth citizens.

This event is organised by Aderonke Apata from the AfricanRainbowFamily and Noorulann Donald Shahid from NUS LGBT+ Campaign.

The event is also supported by
Manchester MiSol
Stop Charter Flights – End Deportations
Unity Centre
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants
Bethan Turner

 

Submitted Evidence to UK All Party Parliamentary Party Group (LGBT) – Homophobic Situation in Nigeria

“The role that UK parliamentarians can play in championing LGBT rights worldwide and responding when such rights are threatened with particular respect to the homophobic anti-gay law in Nigeria. (DOWNLOAD the report)

Slide2As part of our ongoing campaign to repeal the toxic Nigeria anti-gay law, we responded to The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global LGBT Rights’ request for evidence into its new major inquiry into breaches of LGBT rights worldwide on Tuesday 20 July 2015. The final report is expected to recommend a series of measures that the UK government, businesses and NGOs can take to enhance LGBT rights worldwide. More details here.

Our campaign to repeal Nigeria anti-gay law informed our stance to contribute to the success of the inquiry. A firsthand written evidence was submitted to The APPG LGBT within its six themes. See inquiry’s full Terms of Reference here.

Our submission titled “The role that UK parliamentarians can play in championing LGBT rights worldwide and responding when such rights are threatened with particular respect to the homophobic anti-gay law in Nigeria” is available for download.

The following recommendations were made to the inquiry:

  • Pressure Nigerian government to repeal the anti-gay law which is the first step in a long journey. Same applies to other such countries.
  • UK government to provide protection and sanctuary to LGBTI people fleeing Nigeria and other such homophobic countries until such a time that their mindset, religious and cultural beliefs improve.
  • Work with local LGBTI civil society organisations and human rights defenders to raise more awareness in Nigeria and such other countries to better understand inequalities faced by LGBTIs.
  • Work with indigenous groups to counter the rhetoric fed by religious leaders within and outside Nigeria and other countries.
  • At every opportunity, make the stand of the UK government known to Nigeria government and its officials.

President Buhari Prefers The Terrorists – Boko Haram!

Buhari-and-Obama-360x225

Does President Buhari Prefer The Terrorists – Boko Haram?!

The newly elected president of the most populous nation in Africa, president Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has accepted the continuous onslaughts of his country’s citizens as opposed to promoting freedom, equality and the human rights of the LGBTIQ minority of Nigeria.

During Buhari’s visit to the US last week between Sunday, July 19 and Wednesday, July 22;  the need to repeal Nigerian Anti Gay law as contained in an open letter to President Obama requesting that he intervenes and pressures Buhari to repeal the Nigerian Same-sex marriage prohibition law was raised. Unfortunately he rejected to do so; this leads to missing a milestone which would have been a huge landmark in equality and human rights for all Nigerians and indeed the whole of Africa.

The Washington visit was meant to discuss the U.S government supports for Nigeria. President Obama was said to have told Buhari that: “The destiny of the continent was tied to Nigeria’s, he said, pledging that America would continue to support, as long as Nigeria does the right things”.

It beggars good reasoning and the worth of humanity what the priorities for Nigerians are from their newly elected president!

“A president who prefers the continuous maiming, mass massacre, torture, displacement and gruesome raping of his country’s citizens to LOVE needs to reconsider his or her position in my view” says Aderonke Apata, founder of African Rainbow Family.

Fair enough president Buhari has shown his commitment to combat and rid Nigeria of her number one spiral historic endemic ‘disease’ – bribery and corruption. He also promised to retrieve Nigerian looted money starched away in foreign countries. This is a welcome move and hopefully he achieves it.

However, it’s beyond imagination that the rights of ordinary harmless minority group in Nigeria who only shows love towards each other in consensual relationships could be traded off for the daily mayhem caused by Boko Haram. Read about the February 2015 Africa Rainbow Family’s candle lit vigil in solidarity with victims of Boko Haram massacre in Baga here.

Other benefits for Nigeria’s advancement were also rejected by her custodian all in the name of culture and religion.

We call on president Buhari to take a better inward reconsideration of his stand and move away from being ‘cowed’ by the so called religious leaders who only care about themselves under the pretence of upholding God’s commandments.

For further information:

Aderonke Apata

info@africanrainbowfamily.org

www.africanrainbowfamily.org

To support our work, please contact us here.

27th July 2015.

President Buhari supports continuous criminalisation of his country’s LGBTI community!

Press Release – 23rd July 2015

Repeal Nigerian Anti-Gay Law Now!

During his visit to President Barack Obama in the U.S.A this week, our open letter of 17th July 2015 to President Obama requesting that he intervenes and pressures Buhari to repeal Nigerian Anti Gay Law was raised in a discussion as confirmed by Femi Adesina, spokesperson for President Buhari. Unfortunately, he rejected to do so hence he is in support of the continuous inequality, discrimination and criminalisation of this Nigerian minority group.

“It’s a shame. President Buhari’s rejection to repeal the Same-Sex Law marks the continuous dark age of hostile and toxic environment against LGBTIs and any support organisation of this community in Nigeria” said Aderonke Apata, founder of African Rainbow Family.

Adesina said: “The issue of gay marriage came up here yesterday. President Muhammadu Buhari was point blank. Sodomy is against the law in Nigeria, and abhorrent to our culture.”

Over 70,000 equality lovers all over the world signed the petitions to the Nigerian president asking that he upholds the human rights of the LGBTI community in Nigeria. Details of petitions here and here.

President Buhari missed the golden opportunity to be a custodian of human rights and democracy in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa; especially at a time when Americans are enjoying an historic marriage equality, continues Aderonke.

In her open letter to President Barack Obama on 17th July 2015, Aderonke highlighted the plights of her community in Nigeria. The enormous state sponsored violence and inhuman degradation treatments such as arbitrary police arrests, torture, extortion and blackmails against this minority Nigerians would know no end. The magnitude of state and non-state discrimination they face in their own country such as  jungle justice, homelessness, lack of access to: healthcare, employment, political opinions have just been sanctioned by the newly elected president of Nigeria.

It should be noted however, that our resolute persistent push and call for the decriminalization of this punitive law must be unwavered. African countries such as Uganda and Mozambique recently decriminalise homosexuality. Nigeria needs to be more forward looking and protects all of her citizens against violations of their human rights.

For further information:

Aderonke Apata

info@africanrainbowfamily.org

WWW.AfricanRainbowFamily.org

To support the work of African Rainbow Family, contact us here.

 

 

 

 

 

Open Letter To President Barack Obama-Repeal Nigerian Anti-Gay Law

Open Letter To President Barack Obama-Repeal Nigerian Anti-Gay Law.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: