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Ghana Campaigners demand decriminalization of homosexuality after spike in anti-LGBT violence

‘The Ghanaian authorities need to work to tackle  the stigma that topics human beings to violence in their personal homes, the vicinity the place  they have to  experience safest'

LGBT in Ghana: Human rights activists name for the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Human rights campaigners are calling for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ghana after a new record discovered violence  in the direction of LGBT humans by using mobs and household contributors is on the increase.

The report, No Choice however to Deny Who I Am: Violence and Discrimination Against LGBT People in Ghana, has published the retention of a colonial-era provision in the country’s Criminal Offences Act prohibiting and punishing “unnatural carnal knowledge”, coupled with a failure to actively tackle violence and discrimination, is relegating LGBT Ghanaians to “effective second-class citizenship”.

The Human Rights Watch, which posted the 72-page report, has additionally started  LGBT  human beings  are persevering with  to be attacked by the way of  mobs or even by means of their very own household members.

For example, in August 2015, in Nima, a city in the Accra region, individuals of a vigilante  team recognized as Safety Empire brutally assaulted a younger man they suspected used to be gay. And in May 2017, in a village  backyard  Kumasi in the Ashanti region, the mom of a younger girl organised a mob to beat up her daughter and every other  girl due to the fact  she suspected they have been lesbians in a same-sex relationship.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 114 LGBT  human beings for the report, as nicely as representatives for human rights  enterprises  primarily based  in Ghana, a Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) complaints officer, the assistant police commissioner and three diplomats.

Although LGBT humans are rarely, if ever, prosecuted below the country’s anti-gay laws, Wendy Isaack, LGBT rights researcher for the Human Rights Watch, started it without delay contributes to the local weather in which violence in opposition to LGBT humans  is common.

LGBT humans in Ghana say that the violence in opposition to them has been getting  progressively  worse in view that  President Nana Akufo-Addo stated in an interview for Al Jazeer that the regulation criminalising homosexuality in Ghana remained due to the fact that he did no longer consider there was once  a “sufficiently robust coalition” throughout public opinion calling for a change.

Leading Ghanaian activist LGBT Mac-Darling Cobbinah advised The Independent the  neighborhood would “remain resolute” and  proceed to “sensitise humans to understand” LGBT issues.

And one homosexual man from Ghana – who requested us to maintain  his identification  nameless out of worry for his very own security  instructed.  The Independent the key to surviving in Ghana when you discover as LGBT is via “staying strong”.

“Whether we are lawmakers or regular residents we want to come to phrases and be given the plain reality that LGBT humans are human being who belong to families. They are our sons, our daughters, our instructors and our pastors. They are human simply like any different  character  therefore they deserve to be accorded dignity,  appreciate and love.”

And one lesbian who additionally requested to continue to be nameless stated that ,the  authorities wished to end treating LGBT human beings as “outcasts in our very own  society”.

“We desire to be free so we can stand tall in public and now not deal with limitations and harassment day by day  – this will make it simpler for us to get an education, research a trade, get jobs and be beneficial and productive Ghanaians,” she said.

Homophobic sentiment is rife for the duration of the Ghanaian government, however. In February 2017, Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Mike Ocquaye, referred to homosexuality as an “abomination” and equated it with bestiality, calling for stricter legal guidelines  towards same-sex conduct.

This is in spite of the reality the anti-gay  regulation is inconsistent with simple tents of the Ghanaian Constitution, which ensures  equality earlier than the law, admire for human dignity and the proper to privacy.

It additionally violates a number of human rights treaties that Ghana has ratified, together with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which adopted a groundbreaking  decision  in April 2014 calling on African governments to forestall and punish all types of violence focused on human beings on the  groundwork of their actual and imputed sexual orientation or gender identity.

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