July 22, 2011
Minister orders arrest of all gay people in Ghana’s Western Region
A Ghanaian minister has told security services to arrest all people suspected of engaging in same-sex acts. Paul Evans Aidoo also asked ordinary people to inform upon those suspected of being lesbian or gay.
Recent media reports have claimed that there are up to 8000 lesbian and gay people in the Western Region, leading to street demonstrations from Christians and Muslims.
Aidoo, who represents the region in parliament, told Ghana’s Joy FM that: “all efforts are being made to get rid of these people in the society”. He disputed the alleged figure of 8000 however, saying: “I don’t believe it; nobody believes it [...] We do not see them.”
The move follows the mass scapegoating of LGBT people by Ghanaian authorities and in the media. MP David Tetteh recently asserted that “these people [...] will not have it easy in this country,” adding that: “I believe that they are treading on dangerous grounds and they could face lynching in future.”
Aidoo’s declaration appears to have been welcomed in Ghana, with online commentators largely decrying condemnatory western media coverage. This trend was echoed by an editorial published in the Ghanaian Chronicle on Thursday, which stated that: “Whatever human rights activists say, same sex relationship can never ever be natural.”
“That is one reason why The Chronicle sides with the assertion of the Christian Council of Ghana that the entire society should work towards the eradication of gay and lesbianism practices from this country.”
However, the editorial also urged caution: “The Chronicle hopes the authorities would not take advantage of the anti-homo sexual sentiments in society to pursue a witch-hunting agenda. We can pursue the cause of eliminating this society of the scourge of gay and lesbian activities, without being vindictive.”
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