Forty-three-year-old Joseph Kaute applied for asylum in the UK last November. The application was rejected in February and he was "fast tracked" for removal. Authorities have attempted to deport Kaute from the UK, but activists have successfully pressured Air France and its pilots, reports UK Gay News.
Kaute [was] due to be deported from the UK this morning. [He] is back at Harmondsworh detention centre this evening, thanks to Air France, the airline that was due to fly him from Heathrow to Yaoundé via Paris. It was the third attempt to deport him.
"Air France refused to allow me to board," Mr. Kaute told UK Gay News by telephone, this evening. He added that he was aware of the eleventh-hour campaign mounted yesterday evening to prevent the deportation, with representations made directly to Air France in both Paris and London.
Mr. Kaute arrived in the UK in November last year and claimed asylum, saying that he was gay and that he faced up to five years imprisonment. However, a tribunal in Newport, Wales, refused to accept that he was gay.
An attempt to deport Mr. Kaute was made in June, by the captain of the flight refused to fly him due to disruption. A second attempt by the Border Agency to deport him was made almost two weeks later, but again the aircraft captain refused to carry him, citing possible disruption during the flight.
Being "fast-tracked" means that asylum seekers are "held without a right or access to a lawyer" and scheduled for expedited hearings and/or deportation. More details on Kaute's case at LGBT Asylum News.
This is only the latest report of the Home Office "fast-tracking" an LGBT asylum applicant to a hostile anti-LGBT nation. In May, deportation proceedings began against Edson Cosmas, a 28-year-old Tanzanian student and gay activist. Cosmas escaped to the UK in 2006 after "beatings, stoning and other assaults for his sexual orientation."
Cameroon boasts one of Africa's more repressive anti-LGBT regimes. The nation has become infamous for routinely subjecting men accused of sodomy to legal ordeals that continue for years. Human Rights Watch reports conditions for imprisoned gay men are deplorable: "Inmates presumed to be homosexual have been physically beaten as well as sexually assaulted by other inmates, with prison personnel failing to protect them and even encouraging such violence."
Noted human rights lawyer Alice Nkom, who successfully freed more than a dozen imprisoned gay men and founded the Association to Defend Homosexuals (ADEFHO), was threatened with arrest earlier this year. In 2007 she discovered an imprisoned gay man who was held for two years without trial. He was later released.