A gay asylum seeker who faced deportation back to Uganda after being told he could live “discreetly” has been released from an immigration detention centre.
Robert Kityo, who lives in Manchester, fled his home country over fears he would be killed or sent to jail for his sexuality.
But his claim for asylum was refused by the Home Office, who said: “It is not accepted that you are a homosexual and an openly gay man.”
Robert told the Independent: “I’m very scared. I’m a gay man and in Manchester I am able to be who I am. I have made many friends here who accept me and love me.
“But I’m frightened that I will be killed if I am sent back to Uganda. It isn’t safe to be a gay man in Uganda.”
Although he has been released from the immigration detention centre he was being held in, there are fears he may still be deported.
Rev Andy Braunston, a former pastor at the Metropolitan Church where Robert is a member, told the Manchester Evening News: “I’m cynical, and I fear a new refusal could be issued.”
Robert is a well-known activist in the area, volunteering for a number of LGBT groups. More than 30 people, including the Bishop of Manchester, have sent letters in support of his claim for asylum, while over 2,000 have signed an online petition for him to stay in the UK.