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U.K. admits Tanzania is dangerous for gay men

Edson "‘Eddy" Cosmas of Tanzania after his 2011 release from a British detention center.
Edson "‘Eddy" Cosmas of Tanzania after his 2011 release from a British detention center

The United Kingdom has granted refugee status to gay rights activist Edson “‘Eddy” Cosmas of Tanzania, who has been fighting for asylum for a year.

In May 2011, the British Home Office had rejected his asylum request, claiming that the African country was safe for LGBT people and refusing to believe he is gay, Gay Star News reported.

The human rights group Movement for Justice organized protests against that rejection, including petitions and rallies in London and at British consulates.

Under Tanzanian law, homosexual activity is punishable by imprisonment for 30 years to life.

Gay Star News reported:

Movement for Justice claims Cosmas received death threats on Facebook from people in his home country.

Antonia Bright of the Movement for Justice called Cosmas’s case a ‘huge victory’ for immigrant rights and the LGBT movement.

She said: ‘The thousands of people who took action to prevent Eddy’s deportation, signing petitions, writing letters and articles, blogging, demonstrating and spreading the word made his case famous.

‘It’s a cause for people fighting to reverse the racism, homophobia and hypocrisy of an immigration system that is prepared to deport so many people to pain and death.’

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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