Save Geofrey Wamagale- a gay Ugandan refugee, from life-threatening deportation!

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RARICANow is an organization dedicated to the protection and advocacy for LGBTQ2IA+ refugees in Canada.

We created this petition as an urgent call to STOP the deportation Geofrey Wamagale, a gay refugee from Uganda and a very dear member of RARICA and the Edmonton queer/trans/Indigenous/Black/people of colour community. RARICA is working to gain permanent resident status for Geofrey through the Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds (case-by-case assessment for exceptional cases) and we need the broader community to voice their support to help Geofrey's case. 

Geofrey’s story is not unlike many racialized LGBTQ2IA+ refugees seeking asylum from their homophobic countries. She arrived in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on January 1st, 2017 seeking asylum and after being initially rejected for refugee status, appealed the decision of the Refugee protection division on January 11th, 2018. Geofrey appealed this decision because she has been assaulted on multiple occasions due to her sexual orientation and queer identity in Uganda including being beaten and harassed by her family, and attacked by an armed gang. As a result, is and her community including myself are doing everything we can to keep her in Canada.

The reasons for Geofrey’s rejections demonstrate gaps of understanding when it comes to the the lived experience of queer/trans African people. The first reason being she had “insufficient” photographic evidence that she is a sexual minority; however, photos that could indicate homosexuality had to be deleted because if found, Geofrey would be killed.

Another reason Geofrey was rejected for status was because she was unable to share specific details when asked of her relationship with her deceased partner Moses, of the same gender who she had been with for 6 years. Moses and Geofrey were outted and brutally attacked; an attack that led to Moses being stoned to death in front of Geofrey, who was also beaten within an inch of her life. After surviving the attack, Geofrey’s community in Uganda attempted to put her through a highly publicly discussed conversion process, and this visibility led to Geofrey needing to escape to Canada. Geofrey’s inability to quite literally speak on this horrific trauma, was later found to be indicative of severe PTSD and anxiety.

Aside from the individual and community based attacks, if Geofrey is deported she will be captured at the airport, and charged with life in prison or sentenced to the death penalty. Both because of her sexual orientation and identity and made legal under the Anti Homosexuality Act which was passed in Uganda in 2014. Even with out this Act, the transphobic/homophobic culture of the Ugandan community will subject Geofrey to another stoning attack akin to the one she just barely survived. In both events, her death would be sanctioned and supported socially and systemically.

We urge the Edmonton and broader community to uphold the true values of Pride and support the most marginalized of the queer/trans community. We need her. Please help us STOP this deportation and keep our hope and Geofrey herself alive.