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Ugandan gay activist to seek asylum in US

A Ugandan man is seeking asylum in the United States, saying he is a gay activist and would risk imprisonment, injury, or even death if he returned to his country.

Abdallah Wambere was slated to speak at a news conference in Boston this morning.

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Uganda this year enacted a law that can punish gay sex with life in prison.

In a sworn statement in support of his application for asylum, Wambere said he was a well-known activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex community.

He said he had experienced persecution for his activism in the past “in the forms of actual and threatened physical violence, detentions, severe harassment, and financial hardship.”

He also said his Christianity had helped him accept himself as a gay man, but his “beliefs affirming the lives and spirit of LGBTI people are often in direct conflict with the religiously motivated antigay sentiment in my community and country of origin. My government is unable and unwilling to protect me from harm.”

“In fact,” he said, “my government actively supports the criminalization and persecution of LGBTI individuals in Uganda. Those who carry out anti-LGBTI violence in Uganda, be they public or private actors, commit their crimes with impunity.”

Wambere was to be joined at the news conference by attorneys from Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.

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