Getting a refugee status

Getting a refugee status

Marjorie escaped a war zone in Uganda. To get status as refugee, she
had to relive all her painful memories. Finally, after a seven year process,
she was granted UK citizenship. Now she lives in England
with one of her children. But her other child is still back in Africa. I found myself in England,
seeking sanctuary. On the reasons
of political persecution. I did my interview. What I told
the people here, at the Home Office… was what I went through basically,
you know. Before Marjorie escaped
from a Ugandan prison… she was brutally tortured and abused. I’m talking about electric shocks,
I’m talking about beatings. Actual cane. You know, someone caning you today
and then tomorrow you are still sore… and then they are still doing it to you.
I’m talking about rape. Rape was in so many forms… it’s not about man woman, it’s woman
man, you know. That sort of torture. Every time I remember something
my body will shiver. You are in such a state of: Oh my God,
I can’t believe I fled that detention. I can’t believe I fled that safe house,
I can’t believe I fled that prison. You’re anxious. And when you’re interviewed… you do not give things… You are actually not even given
a chance to give things in detail: What is your name? What is your date
of birth? When did you come? Can you briefly explain to me
what happened to you? But then when you’re refused… they don’t mention that they asked you
to mention things briefly. I got my refusal at Christmas.
It was the 26th of December 2003. And it went on, I went to appeal
and I was grilled. I was grilled to explain: If this man was
raping you, how was he holding you? You know. Can you explain to me
how the rapes took place? I had to explain
whether my leg was in the north… or whether my head was in the south… in order for me to prove that these things
actually happened to me. The judge actually believed this time
that I was tortured. And then the Home Office appealed. The reason they gave
was that the torture I went through… the rape that I went through
was actually sexual gratification. That the people who are doing that
to me, they were pleasing themselves. I always say that the government here… or whatever the system
tortures people diplomatically. Because they are not beating you,
they are not raping you… but then they just leave you in that limbo. And if you can all repeat after me:
Swear by almighty God. Despite the Home Office’s appeal… Marjorie was finally recognized
as a political refugee. She was granted UK citizenship. It took me seven years
to fight for my status. And then I just looked
at a piece of paper and said: For the last 7 years,
this is what I’ve been waiting for? For the last 7 years I haven’t seen
my child. I have another daughter. So the feelings are actually mixed.
You know, you have mixed feelings. Now that Marjorie
has a British passport… she can finally bring over her eldest
daughter, Sweetny, to the UK. I know, she’s 12. I just cannot describe the feeling
of me… I am going to see Sweetny. I can’t wait. I don’t know.
I don’t have words, basically. Oh, my God, she’s here, you guys. I can’t believe it. Oh, my God.
She’s almost taller than you. No, she’s not. I can’t even carry her anymore.
She is too big. Oh, my God. Oh, we have to go now. Oh, my God. After eight years, Marjorie is finally
reunited with her eldest daughter. The time has come for a new start. Getting refugee status in Europe
is not an easy process to go through. Do you think this should change?
What are your experiences? Join the discussions forum
on the website. If you like, you can use your webcam
to upload your statements.

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About the Author: Sam Caldwell

1 Comment

  1. So why did she not go to the 1st country she went through……..ENGLAND…a drop in centre for the worlds vagrants…..

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