- THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
- THE UK IMMIGRATION MINISTER
- THE UK BORDER AGENCY
- THE UK EMBASSY IN ITALY
- THE UK REPRESENTATION TO THE EU IN BRUSSELS
- THE ITALIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
- THE UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES
- THE UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
- THE MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
May 24th, 2011. Edson Cosmas came to the UK as a student, in order to study in a country where for the first time he could really be himself. He was known to be gay in Tanzania, where homosexuality is illegal and foresees a prison sentence of up to 25 years, and where gay and lesbian activists are targeted for arrest. He has been attacked, beaten and reported in Tanzania because of his sexuality, a typical experience for LGBT people who have ‘come out’. But instead of protection, LGBT people in the UK are finding detention and the threat of deportation back to even greater dangers.
The Movement for Justice, EveryOne Group and other NGOs are asking people to sign the petition available at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/free-edson-cosmas-%E2%80%93-gay-tanzanian-activist-detained.html to help Edson, and appeal to the UK Government (and in particular to the Immigration Ministry) to release Edson as soon as possible and grant him urgent international protection. EveryOne Group is also asking the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Members of the European Parliament to take measures to prevent the deportation of this gay man back to Tanzania where he faces serious persecution. It is also asking them to put pressure on the UK authorities to grant him asylum as a refugee, according to the Geneva Convention and the international charters on Human Rights.
This is a brief description of the conditions of LGBT people in Tanzania:
Homosexuality in Tanzania is a socially taboo topic, and same-sex sexual acts are punished by the state. According to the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Project, 95% of Tanzanians claim homosexuality should be rejected by society. This makes Tanzania the country with the highest rejection of homosexuality in the 44 countries surveyed. Sexual acts between men are illegal in Tanzania, and may lead to a penalty of life imprisonment. There is no protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Tanzania has no organized gay community.
The U.S. Department of State's 2010 Human Rights Report found that “gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons faced societal discrimination, which restricted their access to healthcare, housing, and employment."
Edson has been a member of the Movement for Justice since December last year. In Tanzania he suffered persecution and was forced to hide his sexuality. He has lived in London for the last six years as an “illegal immigrant”, but has now decided to apply for protection as a victim of torture, and by law he is entitled to political asylum. However, after the screening interview he was detained, and his future is now uncertain. This is partly because the British Home Office has now adopted punitive policies and has been rejecting refugees from poor countries and countries where humanitarian crises are underway. We are calling for freedom, justice and respect for Edson Cosmas, as laid out in the Geneva Convention, the Charter for Human Rights, signed by the United Kingdom, and the ethical laws civilization is based on.
In the hope of a prompt response and a decision based on human solidarity to be made by the authorities this appeal is addressed to, we send you our kindest regards,
Movement for Justice, EveryOne Group, Certi Diritti, Arcigay, Non c'è pace senza giustizia, CGIL Nuovi Diritti, Sindacato Europeo dei Lavoratori
Movement for Justice
07930 302 263
Movement for Justice by any means necessary
+39 393 4010237 :: +39 331 3343449180
firstname.lastname@example.org :: www.everyonegroup.com