MP says court is wrong to deport man to Uganda

101273-4060 HUSTINGS PORTSMOUTH (CO) MRW 21/4/2010''The News Hustings for the Portsmouth South seat held at Portsmouth University''Mike Hancock (Liberal Democrat) ''Pictures:  Malcolm Wells (101273-4060)
101273-4060 HUSTINGS PORTSMOUTH (CO) MRW 21/4/2010''The News Hustings for the Portsmouth South seat held at Portsmouth University''Mike Hancock (Liberal Democrat) ''Pictures: Malcolm Wells (101273-4060)
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A MAN could be deported from Portsmouth tonight, despite fears he will be imprisoned and tortured on his return to Uganda.

Robert Segwanyi, a Ugandan national, is in Haslar Detention Centre and is scheduled to be flown out of the UK at 8pm.

But Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock, Mr Segwanyi’s MP, fears the UK Borders Authority (UKBA) is wrong to order his deportation, as he may be jailed for being gay.

Mr Hancock said: ‘Unfortunately in recent months, following the death of gay activist David Kato, things have got more dangerous for gay people in Uganda. I fear for Mr Segwanyi’s safety if he’s made to return and I think the courts must reconsider their decision and allow him to stay.’

Mr Segwanyi fled Uganda after he said he was tortured by police due to his sexuality.

The east African state punishes homosexuality with up to 14 years in prison and international pressure groups, including Amnesty International, believe these prisoners are regularly tortured.

But the UKBA disputes whether he is gay, despite testimony from one of the UK’s leading professors of psychiatry, Cornelius Katona.

And if Mr Segwanyi’s solicitor, immigration specialist Tahir Mohammed, fails in last-minute representations to immigration judges, the Ugandan must return tonight.

Mr Hancock said: ‘I hope there can finally be some justice for Mr Segwanyi.

‘There have been errors by immigration judges, including misrepresentation of evidence from Professor Katona on whether he considers Mr Segwanyi to be gay: he does.

‘This needs to be corrected.

‘Prof Katona also considers he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

‘He says no actor could fake the symptoms he presented.

‘This is all new evidence and should be treated as a fresh claim by the courts and the Home Office.

‘I hope that justice can now prevail.’