Brutal deportation ‘murder’ claim

Friends of a woman who died soon after being forcibly deported to Uganda mounted an emotional protest outside the Home Office this week, accusing the UK Borders Agency of murder. Photo report by Peter Arkell

Jackie Nanyonjo
Jackie Nanyonjo (in brown jacket) on a protest before her deportation

Jackie Nanyonjo died on March 8 from her injuries inflicted when she was dragged on to a flight by security guards hired by the UKBA. She had sought refuge in Britain where she had been able for the first time to live openly as a gay woman.

Jackie had escaped from a brutal forced marriage and the anti-gay persecution whipped up by the political and religious leaders in Uganda. She was much loved by a wide circle of friends who fought with her and who kept in touch with her after her deportation on January 10.

The UKBA and an asylum tribunal dismissed out of hand the evidence of friends and of her partner that Jackie was gay. Her claim for asylum was rejected and she was sent to the notorious Yarl’s Wood women’s detention centre in November last year. Jackie resisted an attempt to deport her in December and lodged a complaint against the UKBA for the brutality she suffered in detention.

Jackie Nanyonjo

The Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary said in a statement:

“With all the limited avenues of Britain’s racist immigration laws closed to her... Jackie’s only option was physical resistance. On 10th January, on Qatar Airways Flight QR76, Jackie fought bravely for her freedom against four Reliance guards.

“She continued fighting when the guards drew the curtains round their end of the plane to hide their crimes. She struggled for as long as she could until, beaten up, half strangled and bent double, she was overcome by pain in her chest and neck and was unable to breathe.

“When Jackie arrived at Entebbe Airport the escort party handed her over to the Ugandan authorities, who held her for many more hours without any medical attention. When family members finally met her, long after the flight had landed, Jackie was in terrible pain and vomiting blood.”

Unable to get the medical attention she needed because she was in hiding, her health rapidly declined. The statement accused the UKBA and the Home Office of protecting “thugs and the security companies” and complicity in Jackie’s death.

15 March 2013

Jackie Nanyonjo


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