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STOP deportation of Ugandan Shamim Namutebi from Canada!

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Stop deportation of Ugandan Shamim Namutebi from Canada!

 Dear Hon. Ahmed D.  Hussen,

 We, the undersigned, would like to bring it to your urgent attention to halt the scheduled deportation of Ms. Shamim Namutebi client ID # 9384-0674 back to Uganda where she faces persecution, risk to life and unusual treatment, and violence.

 Shamim is a Ugandan mother and lesbian who fled to Canada on 22 November 2015 and landed in Toronto, Ontario. She fled her home country because of the danger and lack of protection due to her sexual orientation. 

 Shamim's first language is Luganda, even though she understands basic English but often does not comprehend the facts of what is being said. Shamim did not attend formal education and this partly contributes to her negative self-concept and esteem.

 Shamim came from humble and resource-constrained settings, and was forced into marriage by pressure from her parents to get bride-wealth yet she was afraid to reveal that she is a lesbian since homosexuality is illegal in Uganda.

 Shamim fled Uganda and discreetly made it to Canada where she made her refugee claim that was rejected in January 2016. She is a member of The 519 Church Street Community Centre and Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services. These organizations support her stay in Canada.

Shamim's open activism as a lesbian while in Canada, and as one of the founding members of the East African Rainbow, a dancing group of lesbian, bisexual and trans women from East Africa, which was started in Spring 2016 at the weekly LGBTQ+ resettlement support initiatives at Access Alliance MHCS is part of her community involvement. Since then the East African Rainbow group has performed at various venues including the June 2016 Pride celebrations at Access Alliance MHCS, U of T, Senior Pride Network's meeting at the 519, Sunshine Pride event at Ward Island on Lake Ontario among others.

Shamim has for obvious reasons was deeply in the closet while she was in Uganda, but once she found her freedom, she did not hesitate to come out, and actively engage with the LGBTQ+ community in Toronto. This activism has outed her as a lesbian and therefore poses a huge threat to her life if sent back.

 We request that Canada’s immigration authorities review her case and the pre-risk removal assessment. Canada, a global leader in human rights, in our opinion, should not be sending a lesbian woman back to Uganda, a country that persecutes LGBTQ+ people. Unless we do all we can to help, Shamim will be sent back to a dangerous situation. Your support may well help Shamim to live a free life as a lesbian woman without fear of persecution or even death.


 Shamim’s team

Toronto, Ontario; March 13, 2017

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