LGBT refugee wins legal battle to stay in UK

Aderonke Apata

Aderonke Apata was accused of faking her sexuality, but has now won her 13 year battle for asylum.

Apata first arrived in the UK in 2004, having faced up to 14 years in prison, as well as extrajudicial violence, for homosexuality in her native Nigeria.

She told the courts that her brother and son were killed in vigilante attacks when her sexuality was discovered.

However, the UK Home Office had claimed she was faking being a lesbian in order to stay in the country.

In 2015 the High Court rejected the Home Office's argument that Apata could not be a lesbian as she had children from a previous relationship.

However, the court also ruled that she was faking her sexuality in order to qualify for refugee status, despite a sex tape being submitted in evidence.

This week's victory ends over a decade of legal limbo for Apata, a long-term LGBTQ activist.

Following decades of struggle, in recent years Britain has relaxed some of its traditionally homophobic laws. However, British migration controls continue to endanger LGBTQ people.

Research by the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) has found that more than 98% of asylum claims by lesbians and gay men are rejected, compared to 73% of all claims.

Nigeria's anti-homosexuality laws date from the era of British colonialism, although punishments were made more severe in 2014.

Prior to colonialism, gender, sex, and sexuality in what became Nigeria were not so rigidly defined, as described in the book Male Daughters, Female Husbands by Nigerian anthropologist Ifi Amadiume.

Comments

potrokin
Aug 11 2017 18:36

This is great news.