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Refugee who was 'raped and beaten' after deportation brands Rwanda plan a 'death sentence'

14 June 2022, 06:56 | Updated: 14 June 2022, 07:35

Prossy Nakalinzi, 29, fled to the UK from Uganda
Prossy Nakalinzi, 29, fled to the UK from Uganda. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Charlotte Lynch

A Ugandan refugee has told LBC she was raped and beaten after being deported back to her home country from the UK.

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Prossy Nakalinzi, 29, fled to the UK from Uganda, which borders Rwanda, in 2009.

She feared her life was in danger because of her sexuality, and had already suffered brutal attacks simply for being gay.

She moved to London, but in 2013, immigration officers visited her home in the middle of the night and told her she had overstayed.

She was forced to hand over her passport and detained in Yarl's Wood, Bedford. Later that year, she was deported back to Uganda.

She told LBC: "I was dropped in Uganda with nothing. I spent five years of hiding because people wanted me dead. They don't allow us to be lesbian or gay in Uganda.

"They can come in to your community, they can attack you, they can kill you."

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Prossy told LBC she now has a three-year-old son, fathered by a rapist who attacked her after she was deported back to Uganda from the UK. A judge ruled she could return to the UK in 2019.

She and her son have now successfully claimed asylum in London.

Speaking to LBC whilst protesting against the UK government's controversial Rwanda migration policy, Prossy said she fears LGBTQ+ refugees who are deported to Rwanda will experience worse.

She said: "Rwanda is my neighbouring country and I know Rwanda doesn't have democracy.

"Taking refugees there is a real disaster - it's like they are taking them to a killing zone, giving them a death sentence.

"Torture and death. They will not be safe."

When asked how she feels towards the British government, following the abuse she faced whilst back in Rwanda, Prossy said: "Really, I blame them for whatever I am facing now. I blame them. They kept saying I'm lying, lying, lying.

"I was here [Britain] for two years but I didn't know how to really claim asylum, nobody really said that.

"I was just trying to know the country and live my life, but I didn't know what to do next. They told me that I overstayed, so I'm a criminal, which I didn't really understand."

"For me to sleep and be living today, I now have to be on medication. Sleeping medicine, and medicine to cool down my stress. They damaged my brain and damaged my life."

A Government spokesperson told LBC: “Rwanda is a fundamentally safe country which is recognised globally for its record on welcoming and integrating migrants. It is illegal to discriminate against anyone in Rwanda, including discrimination for sexual orientation and we now have a Memorandum of Understanding which both sides are committed to upholding”.

“Each case is assessed individually, and no one will be relocated if it would be unsafe or inappropriate for them to do so”.