Thomas’ Story

Thomas was hounded out of Uganda for being gay

Armed with rocks and chanting for him to be killed, a mob targeted him on his own street. His family disowned him. Terrified that he would be killed, Thomas fled to the UK, where he was brutalised further.

But Asylum Aid saved his life.

Growing up in Uganda, Thomas’s friends gossiped about him for years. But this wasn’t harmless fun. Uganda has some of the harshest anti-gay laws in the world. Thomas went to a school where students were encouraged to inform on anyone they thought was gay.

At university, Thomas started a relationship in secret. But it didn’t stay secret for long. Spotted with his lover one night, a large crowd gathered and started to threaten Thomas. They chanted death threats, chased him down the street and attacked him with rocks. He tried to find shelter with his brother, but was turned away. His father refused to have anything to do with him. His landlord locked him out of his home.

Thomas came to the UK to study, but the clamour in Uganda to punish him just grew. The law was getting even tougher, and during 2012 the government planned to introduce the death penalty for gay men.

Thomas was terrified.

He was also deeply vulnerable. One night in the UK he was raped. Already full of shame and confusion, and aware that he might be killed if returned to Uganda, Thomas asked for asylum in the UK.

Asylum Aid looked after Thomas’s case. We worked with him for hours to help explain everything that he had been through. We provided the Home Office with expert evidence about what would await him in Uganda. We were with him every step of the way.

Thomas was recognised as a refugee, and has started rebuilding his life in the UK.