B.C. woman says she will be persecuted for being gay if she’s deported to Cameroon
A Metro Vancouver woman fighting deportation from Canada claims that if she’s sent back to her native country of Cameroon, she’ll be beaten — and perhaps killed — because she’s gay.
“[They] keep beating you and beating you maybe ’til death, because the police will not interfere in it,” said the woman, who asked to be identified as Angela.
“They call that jungle justice.”
Angela is married to her same-sex partner. Her former partner was reportedly detained and beaten in Cameroon, a country where homosexuality is illegal.
Jenny Kwan, the NDP’s immigration critic, has been advocating for Angela for nearly two years and says, “How the government handles this case, I think, sends a very strong message.”
Angela’s initial refugee claim was rejected after officials cast doubt on Angela’s story.
Kwan says the evidence is clear and the minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship needs to intervene.
She said if Angela is deported, “I have no doubt in my mind… she will be persecuted and that her life will be at risk.”
Even with the threat of persecution, experts say cases of gay refugee claimants are never clear-cut and decisions often have implications both in Canada and abroad.
“These cases are the most difficult,” immigration consultant Richard Kurland said. “Human sexuality is complex. There’s a spectrum of behaviour.”
Kurland says an experienced board tried this case but the reputation of Angela’s advocates cannot be ignored.
“Even if the person is not same-sex, the perception of being homosexual and sent back to a country like Cameroon may trigger imprisonment or worse.
“Someone deserves to look at this one more time.”
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