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LGBT activists condemn 'Ukipisation' of migrant debate

GAY, lesbian, bi and transsexual activists condemned “Ukipisation” of British politics yesterday as they kicked off a campaign against migrant discrimination.

Stories of violent deportations of LGBT asylum seekers were retold amid outrage at the coalition’s hypocrisy, as it originally pledged to stop extraditions of homophobia refugees.

PCS union member Steven Heward said: “It is our duty as human beings to accept we have an obligation to protect other people regardless of where they come from.”

Mr Heward also argued that since the government is cutting benefits people are seeking asylum in Britain for other reasons.

He went on to tell the story of a young woman imprisoned, tortured and raped in her home country for being a lesbian.

“If you could escape this horrific treatment then you would jump at the chance to save your own life,” he said.

Others recounted the travesty of British border interrogations, where people are made to describe their sexual experiences and to what degree they fear for their lives.

Oliver Stockley, from manufacturing union Community, used the opportunity to mention the way in which Conservatives and far right alike have been blaming migrants for the crisis.

He urged conference attendees to fight the “Ukipisation of our politics.”

Similarly delegates defended the right to free movement across the European Union, which had historically allowed many in the LGBT community to find new homes where they could live without fear of persecution.

PCS delegate Steven Finch recalled the tragedy surrounding the death of Jimmy Mubenga,

Mr Mubenga died in 2010 from abuse of force related injuries after being restrained by deportation staff.

Mr Finch said this was a result of a lack of training on asylum seekers' rights. 

The situation of those looking for a safe haven in Britain had become so dire many prefer to die rather than face extradition to countries where they are hounded for their sexuality, he added.

“The worst moment in my life was going into one person’s room — a young man — and finding him hanging,” said University and College Union delegate Steve Boyce.

“He thought that was better than returning to his home country.”


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