Bette Tibikawa, age 22, fled from Uganda in order to avoid hatred and violence because she is a lesbian. Uganda law terms homosexuality to be a crime against the state and several gay men have been imprisoned while others have been killed. Bette had just finished high school and was preparing to attend college when three men seized her, made clear they knew she was a lesbian and then branded the girl on her thighs with a hot iron. She was confined to bed for two months. She fled to England in order to escape further death threats. “I can’t sleep and I’m having terrible nightmares about what will happen to me if I’m sent back to Uganda. My family has disowned me because I am a lesbian, and I’m convinced i will be killed if I’m sent home.” Her name already has appeared in a magazine which “outs” homosexuals.
Does Bette have grounds for securing political asylum? Not according to the UK Border Agency. They informed Bette, “when someone is found not to have a genuine claim(to asylum) we expect them to leave voluntarily.” If Bette does not have a legitimate reason for asylum, who does??