‘In prison I’ll be beaten and raped every day’ – says Liberian gay footballer

Andrew Nagbe is set to be deported from Sweden
Andrew Nagbe is set to be deported from Sweden

Andrew Nagbe was denied a residence permit after an unsuccessful trial with Swedish soccer club Umeå FC. He stayed on to play for lower division teams until he was detained in late July when he was caught after a random ID check.

Nagbe spoke to Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter about his situation.

“I want to play football and live as an openly gay man in Sweden,” he said.

The Liberian national feared what his openly gay status would mean and saw the threat of prosecution as a real possibility.

“In prison I’ll be beaten and raped every day until I am released and leave the country again,” Nagbe said.

“Everyone I know in Liberia knows I am gay now, so they won’t hold back.”

Nagbe insists he is already wanted by Liberian police and saw this outcome as inevitable.

Sweden’s Migration Service ruled that Nagbe’s claims were not verifiable and that he must submit new evidence in order to appeal their decision.

Michael Persson, a representative of the country’s Migration Board, said while there is the risk of harassment in Liberia, there is no evidence of state-sanctioned abuse.

Nagbe is set to be deported on August 23.

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SOURCES: NewsNow/Star Observer

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About Cholo Brooks 14335 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.