Advocacy for Janet Kawuma
Genoa, 23 April 2018.
For the attention of the OHCHR:
Hon. High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein,
EveryOne Group and Saint Paul's Voice center ask you to intervene in aid of Ugandan lesbian refugee Janet Kawuma, who fled Uganda, where she was seriously persecuted, in 2010 and sought refuge in the Netherlands, where she hoped to get welcome and protection. Janet has been the victim of inhuman and degrading treatment in Uganda, where she is well known by the local LGBT movement. In addition to her testimony, letters of support from humanitarian organizations (in Uganda and elsewhere) and other evidence (1), Janet presented to the Netherlands institutions a document issued in 2010 by Ugandan police forces - National Central Bureau of Interpol, Kampala. In the document, Janet is accused of indecent behavior, immorality, and promiscuity and is reported as a serious practitioner of lesbianism in society (2). However, after more than seven years and a huge commitment to defend her by the international civil society, the Dutch authorities continue to deny her asylum and to envisage a deportation that would lead her to a situation of persecution, with the danger of imprisonment, inhuman and degrading treatments, torture and risk of death. Janet's lawyer does what he can, but his defense always falls on deaf ears. For our part, we are about to send a new appeal to the institutions of the Netherlands, to prevent Janet being transferred to Uganda, where it would be impossible to help her. However, in the face of the wall that they place before our requests (which have become true supplications), we ask you to intervene and to support a request for protection that is urgent and is provided both by the Geneva Convention and by The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Ad well as all the laws protecting refugees and every human being from the danger of incurring inhuman and degrading treatment, torture, deprivation of liberty and dignity, loss of life. Furthermore, the constant negative responses from the Dutch institutions cause the refugee to have a constant state of anguish, which undermines her health: we are convinced that this unjustified and cruel pressure should end as soon as possible and that Janet can recover serenity and hope, to start a new life characterized by respect, freedom, and optimism. In the hope that you want to help us and above all avoid a real ordeal for Janet, we look forward to your intervention.
Roberto Malini, Dario Picciau, Glenys Robinson - Presidents of EveryOne Group, and
Rev. Patrick Leuben Mukajanga, Director of Saint Paul's Voice Centre.