An open letter to Theresa May: stop the removal of Mariama N

Dear Ms May,

I am writing to ask you to stop the removal of Mariama N, Home Office reference number S1447771/002, to The Gambia. She is a lesbian woman who faces renewed persecution if returned to The Gambia. At present removal directions have been set for Tuesday 3 September.

The government should commit to ending the removal or deportation of LGBT people to countries where they face persecution. At present, many LGBT people seeking asylum in this country face unrealistic demands to “prove” their sexuality or gender identity to the UKBA, and are faced with unreasonable demands for evidence that they cannot provide. As a result of this, many face removal or deportation to countries where they face renewed homophobic or transphobic persecution. Removal or deportation itself is also often a dangerous process, and Jackie Nanyonjo died earlier this year as a result of violence inflicted on her by her security escort while being removed from the UK. I am asking you to stop Mariama’s forced removal, and to review the UKBA’s policies on the treatment of LGBT asylum-seekers.

Yours sincerely,

David Neale

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