Posts Tagged ‘visa’

MEA Laureate 2011, Kasha, in the end given visa for UK

August 24, 2011

As an illustration of how ill-conceived or ill-executed immigration policies can affect Human Rights Defenders, the following:

Last week Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera – who is the Laureate of the 2011 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, – was denied entry to the UK where she was invited to attend as a special guest the Northern Ireland Pride festival in Derry this weekend. The visa denial was apparently based concerns over her financial status. Foyle Pride chairwoman Shay Gillespie said at the time: “I can’t understand why the UK is the only country to deny her entry and deny the opportunity for the people of Derry and Northern Ireland as a whole the chance to hear this inspirational woman speak.”

A petition was set up to challenge the decision while Amnesty UK invited her to give a speech on Thursday. Then on Monday – within minutes of filing a second application- Kasha was granted permission to attend

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International said: “In the face of ongoing threats and attacks for her work, she has continued to speak out on behalf of Uganda’s LGBT community. She constantly has to shift from house to house, never staying too long in the same place, yet her voice for human rights in Uganda has never been dimmed…..Kasha is here to tell people in Northern Ireland the real stories behind our reports and to explain how people here can support gay people in Uganda.”

Other Human Rights Defenders or other travelers with a legitimate purpose to come to Europe may not have the public status or international support needed to overturn such decisions.