Refugee in Belgium

I never had any intentions of coming to Belgium or leaving my country. I was fighting hard to improve my situation back home. I had my own shoe shop and a private life which was important to me.

Unfortunately, in June 2020, I had a heated argument with my boyfriend, Jeremy. The commotion caught the attention of our neighbour who barged into our living room, as I had forgotten to close the door. Jeremy and I were trying to reconcile and were sharing a kiss when the neighbour entered. He immediately shouted accusations of witchcraft, and without any hesitation, he physically attacked me.

The other neighbours joined in, dragging us out of the house and leaving me naked in the public square. Jeremy managed to escape, but I was subjected to more than an hour of brutal assault, with the attackers using burning objects. In my country, being gay can result in severe beatings or even death at the hands of the community. If one is lucky, someone might contact the police, and the individual would end up in prison. After enduring torture for over an hour, the police finally intervened. However, I was kept in the police station for three days without clothes.

Thankfully, with the help of a police contact, Jeremy managed to assist me in escaping. During a moment when I requested to use the restroom, the officer fired a warning shot, and I had to climb over a wall to flee the country.