Glory Metfyean Must Stay
HO Ref: M1352841
Glory Metfyean came to the UK on 2nd June 2007, fleeing persecution in Nigeria. She claimed asylum on 5th June, and was refused on 12 September 2007.
Glory has been raped by her father since she was 12 years old. This continued until she was in her late 20s, just before she fled Nigeria. She was too ashamed and burdened to tell anyone about it. Her father had threatened to kill her if she spoke out. At the same time as this sexual abuse was taking place, she was also coming to the realisation that she did not like men, but had erotic feelings for women. She tried talking to her mother about all this, but her mother refused to listen. Instead, her mother showed her a picture of a man who had been killed because he was gay in Nigeria, and tried to force her into an arranged marriage. Glory refused to go through with this. In Nigeria this was seen as an insult to her parents and to the man's family. Glory had to flee from the shame, stigma and insults that she had to endure from her community in the village where she lived.
When she arrived in the UK Glory could not tell the Home Office about the sexual abuse or about her lesbian sexuality as she felt too ashamed and was frightened of further victimisation. When she did find the courage to tell her story the Home Office did not believe her. They refused her asylum claim saying that she could go back to a different area of Nigeria. As a lesbian Glory's life would be in danger if she was sent back to Nigeria.
According to the Human Rights Watch World Report 2012 ‘Nigeria’s federal criminal code punishes consensual homosexual conduct with up to 14 years in prison’ (see http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012). And according to Amnesty International’s Annual Report 2012 on Nigeria, ‘the Senate approved a bill which would impose a 14-year prison sentence for same-sex marriages’. The lawmakers also criminalised (with a 10 year prison sentence) anyone who helps such marriages, ‘or “supports” gay groups, “processions or meetings”’, ‘anyone who registers gay clubs and organizations protecting the rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people’, and any ‘“public show of same sex amorous relationship”’ (http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/nigeria/report-2012). The above reports paint an unequivocal, dire picture about the situation gays and lesbians face in Nigeria, and the criminalised, severely constricted, dangerous and impossible situation of being a lesbian in Nigeria.
In 2012 Glory came out openly about her lesbian identity and her history of sexual abuse. She wants to live an open lesbian life. She is a member of the Lesbian Immigration Support Group, of the Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus, and of the Lesbian and Gay Foundation. In Nigeria, Glory would face a situation of persecution and the threat of severe harm. Glory fled to the UK for protection, asylum and safety, and instead she encountered insecurity, disbelief and prolonged periods in detention. These periods in detention and imprisonment have severely impacted on her already traumatic history, and have seriously aggravated her mental health situation.
We the undersigned ask the Home Office to release Glory from a regime of detention, surveillance and imprisonment, and to grant her permission to stay in the UK to protect her from the persecution and serious harm that, as a lesbian she would face in Nigeria.