A Belgian man has pleaded for help after his boyfriend was deported to Ghana – where homosexuality is illegal – because he’s “not gay enough.”
Jurgen Hendrickx posted a series of emotional messages on Facebook as authorities physically forced his long-term boyfriend Festus onto a flight after a two-year legal struggle.
The electrical engineer, who lives in the northern city of Antwerp, said his boyfriend had been “threatened by his family several times in the last few days because of his sexuality”.
Gay people in Ghana have no rights, and face up to three years imprisonment if convicted.
“Where is our human dignity to gay men?” asked Jurgen.
“At the recent pride in Brussels, we mentioned the persecution of homosexuals in Chechnya,” he added.
“Now they’re sending my boyfriend right into the hands of his potential torturers/murderers.”
Jurgen said that Festus’s case was not an isolated incident, asking: “Are we, in the end, so much better than the Russians?
“No,” he answered, “because they have the opportunity to depart to a country where they are welcome.”
The engineer, who said on Facebook that he felt “incomplete” and “broken,” accused the government of ignoring blatant proof of his relationship with Festus.
“After more than two years of litigation, my boyfriend will be deported to his homeland tomorrow.
“According to the administration, he’s not gay enough.
“All evidence is swept off the map as nonexistent,” he wrote. “Photos, messages, correspondence, etc…
“Our hearts are broken.”
Troublingly, Jurgen reported that his boyfriend could not be located shortly after arriving back in his homeland.
“Festus landed more than 45 minutes ago in Accra, in Ghana,” Jurgen wrote yesterday.
“He is not available and not discoverable anymore at the airport – my contact there can’t find him; they have already called his name but no reply came.
“I fear for the worst. We warned CGVS (Belgium’s Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees) and DVZ (Belgium’s Immigration Office) yesterday.”
Earlier this year, two transgender refugees living in a United Nations refugee camp on the Greek island of Leros were reportedly attacked by a group of around 20 people.
And last month, a 28-year-old gay refugee was allegedly initially refused asylum in Germany after being told he only had himself to blame for being assaulted by Tunisian police.