Cape Town – Fear is reportedly driving African gays to seek asylum in the United States after countries like Nigeria and Uganda recently enacted draconian anti-gay laws.
According to the Voice of America, more than 60 Ugandans have applied for asylum in the US so far this year.
Homosexuality is a crime in 38 African countries
In February, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a bill that calls for "repeat homosexuals" to be jailed for life, outlaws any promotion of homosexuality and requires people to report homosexuals.
Earlier, Nigeria also banned same-sex marriage and civil unions while homosexual acts already carry the death sentence under Sharia Islamic law.
Death threats and police brutality
Niki Mawanda, who recently fled his African homeland, was quoted as saying that the situation was "bad" in Uganda and that he was scared and was not sure what would happen to him if he went back to his country.
Mawanda said he was accused of "bringing homosexuality" to the village.
Another asylum seeker Victor Mukasa said death threats and police brutality were among the horrors he faced before gaining asylum in the US less than a year ago.
A lawyer with Human Rights First group, Jocelyn Dyer, said the stakes were much higher, adding "we're very concerned that now, with these really repressive laws, a bad situation is going to be made even worse".