The three women have had their asylum applications denied by Danish authorities and are due to be sent back to Uganda by August 2nd, news agency Ritzau reported.
Homosexual activity is illegal in Uganda can be punished by life imprisonment. The country’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014 received widespread media attention in the West, with many outlets labelling it the ‘Kill the Gays bill’ for its proposed death penalty clauses. When the bill was signed into law, the death penalty had been replaced by life behind bars.
The three women claimed asylum in Denmark based on their sexual preference but their applications were denied because of reported inconsistencies in their stories.
The group LGBT Asylum, which fights for the rights of gays, lesbians and transsexual people within the Danish asylum system, roundly criticized the decision to send the women back to Uganda.
“Homosexuals risk persecution from other civilians, their families and clan members as well as blackmail and assault. Homosexuals can not expect police protection if they are attacked, threatened or killed,” the group’s spokesperson Hanne Gyberg told Ritzau.
“We believe that the decisions in their asylum cases were made based upon an incorrect foundation. Their sexuality was not considered in the rejections [and] we believe the Danish authorities should look at the cases again,” she added.
A lawyer representing one of the women said on Friday that she has asked the he Danish Refugee Appeals Board (Flygtningenævnet) to rule on her client’s case.
“My client has been active with LGBT Asylum. Some of those things have been shown online and are known in Uganda, so it would be very terrible for her to go back. It always is for homosexuals, because Uganda has very strict laws,” Jytte Lindegaard told Ritzau.
A spokesman for ruling party Venstre declined to comment on the three women specifically but said Denmark should grant asylum to people who are persecuted for being gay.
“In general, we should from the Danish side of course live up to the rules, including when people are considered to be persecuted in their home countries because of religion, sexuality or something else. Then we have a special obligation to protect them,” Jacob Jensen said.
Lindegaard said Flygtningenævnet should rule on the appeal before her client’s scheduled deportation date of August 2nd.