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Ghana Regional Minister Orders All Gays Arrested

Jim Burroway

July 19th, 2011

From the the website of Ghana radio Joy 99.7, it looks like a full-fledged witch-hunt is imminent:

The Western Region Minister Paul Evans Aidoo has ordered the immediate arrest of all homosexuals in the region.

He has tasked the Bureau of National Investigations and all security agencies to smoke out persons suspected to be engaging in same sex. He also enlisted the services of landlords and tenants to provide reliable information which will lead to the arrest of homosexuals.

His directive follows months of campaigns against the practice of homosexuality in the country. Only yesterday, the Christian Council of Ghana capped months of protestations against the practice of homosexuality with a strongly worded message against the practice and courting Ghanaians not to vote for any politician who believes in the rights of homosexuals.

This is worrying, not only for the human rights disaster this roundup would pose, but it would also represent a huge betrayal for those 8,000 who signed up at an HIV/AIDS workshop funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). According to Ghanaian radio, that report sparked a series of religious demonstrations with the Muslim and Christian communities in the Central and Western regions.

The website of AfricanActivist has background on the story. Homosexuality is currently a misdemeanor in Ghana. Ghana’s president John Evans Atta Mills denies reports that he intends to institute a new anti-gay law, after witnesses claimed that he told one religious gathering that he would ” do something about the homosexuality menace in Ghana.” Last June, Ghanaian vice president John Dramani Mahama told delegates at a high level UN meeting on HIV/AIDS that it was essential to include Ghana’s LGBT community in its strategy to fight HIV/AIDS. He also acknowledged that current attitudes toward gay people make that strategy difficult. With the latest calls for mass arrests and the rising prospect of violence, that strategy is now in serious jeopardy, along with the safety and security of thousands of citizens of the West African nation.

 [via Warren Throckmorton]

Comments

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Christopher
July 20th, 2011 | LINK

This is what happens when European religion is foisted upon an unsuspecting triabl culture.

As if smallpox was not enough…

A Frequent Visitor
July 20th, 2011 | LINK

So sad to read this. I refuse to blame it on western religion. I am a west African living in the US. Western religion forbids polygamy, but polygamy is still being practiced by some Christians in those countries and I don’t see any govt officials trying to ban it !!!

News like this makes me so sad when I read of what our LGBT brothers and sisters have to go through in those countries.

Thank you for informing us and for the great work you are doing. There are many people in foreign lands that benefit from your advocacy.

justme
July 20th, 2011 | LINK

Feel free to blame it on Western religion, AFV.

The cult known as The Family — the secretive extreme right-wing group that has been influencing Washington DC politics for decades, a group that actually has a house in DC where Republican congressmen live, plot, and conspire to cover up each other’s crimes and scandals — is behind this.

It’s been covered extensively in the press, but Rachel Maddow has done a particularly good and comprehensive job of exposing this genocidal plot as all theirs.

Think about that the next time Obama or any other Democrat attends The Family’s annual National Prayer Breakfast.

Ben In Oakland
July 20th, 2011 | LINK

Famine, poverty, disease,no jobs, no edeucation, bad water, too many people, infant mortality, maternal mortality, AIDS, and at least a few morde things.

but there is always time to blame the queers,

chelovek
July 21st, 2011 | LINK

Believe it or not, they tried this at the beginning of communist control in China.

Amazingly, without the existence of any homosexuals as examples, a rather reliable percentage of the following generations “choose” to be gay.
They can commit genocide – and it will temporarily work – but those pesky breeders just keep making more of their offspring to “choose” to be gay. If those heterosexuals would stop having children – THEN – there will be no more gay people in society.

Obviously, there will also be no society as well. This business of heterosexual reproduction and the continued existence of gays in society appears to be inextricably intertwined as demonstrated by the failed Chinese experiment. The same may be said of the WWII death camps and the slaughter of vast numbers of gays. Mysteriously, Europe is, yet again, hosting a rather reliable percentage of its own gay population in European society.

Still, the ignorant and self-righteous will insist that homosexual orientation is a choice no matter how many times God proves the exact opposite to them throughout one history in the form of repeated genocide against gays in various societies at various times.

It is God who thwarts these efforts. Perhaps those who believe they know better than God should open their eyes and hearts.

Don
July 21st, 2011 | LINK

With few exceptions, the countries where you’re most likely to encounter this type of violence and repressive laws directed against LGBT tend to be former colonies of the UK (along with fundamentalist Islamic countries). This trend is especially apparent in the Caribbean and Africa. Former French, Portuguese, Dutch, Belgian, and Spanish colonies in contrast tend mostly to have decriminalized homosexuality. It’s not just about imported Christianity, it’s about the particular brand of Christianity and Victorian morality imported by the British during the 19th Century.

Fred
July 21st, 2011 | LINK

I agree. It is the twisted puritanical version of religious beliefs that cause bigoted and hateful behavior. That problem is ever so evident here in the good old US where we waste valuable time in our legislature debating sexual issues because the extremist fringe has taken over the Repugnican party and forces us to deal with non-issues that distract us from real problems like poverty, health and war. In Florida they even got an UNconstitutional amendment passed to ban gay marriage. WHy? Who is helped? Corporations that won’t have to pay domestic partner benefits? Surely no one else…

Timothy Kincaid
July 21st, 2011 | LINK

Fred,

And even those Corporations are increasingly not seeing this as help at all. Many employers WANT to treat their employees with dignity and respect (it increases loyalty and productivity).

This anti-gay amendment also bans employers from adding the gay employees’ partners on their health insurance. And for those benefits that they are allowed to offer, the amendment requires time and energy (and likely hurt feelings) trying to decide how someone should qualify.

We are now seeing major corporations funding opposition to anti-gay stuff. And one of the Republicans who voted “yes” on marriage in New York was approached by a major corporation who is the largest employer in his district and told in no uncertain terms that they wanted the marriage equality bill to pass.

paul canning
July 24th, 2011 | LINK

Jim

“8,000 who signed up at an HIV/AIDS workshop funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).”

This is not what happened according to my source, in Ghana.

See http://madikazemi.blogspot.com/2011/07/audio-in-ghana-is-it-getting-worse-for.html

This media attention and debate has actually been going on for a while. It’s a sign of a civil society which is pushing for debate. My sense is that the regional Minister’s reaction, which was to Church and Mosque agitation, is empty but is also a reaction to that debate.

Ersjub
August 6th, 2011 | LINK

it is time people from the west are made aware that Ghana is a soverient stage, for that matter, no, i mean no person or group of people can intervere the way the state handles LGBT issues.
The people of western region are mostly Christians and Muslims which believes L&G are firty culture imported into the country and will go all out to make people who practice this ‘animalist’ act misarable in the region. We will also opose any forien pressure and enpower leaders who pursue our agenda in flashing this horendous act from our society by endorsing them during elections irrepective of their political affiliations.

Timothy Kincaid
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

And it is time that people in Ghana are made aware that how they treat GLBT people will no longer be a matter that has no consequence.

As Christians, I’m sure that you observe Christ’s commandment to do unto others as you want done to you.

So as you are choosing to make gay people miserable, then this is quite obviously what you, as Christians, want done to you. And I assure you that the West has the resources to make Ghana very very miserable.

F Young
August 24th, 2011 | LINK

@Ersjub
“it is time people from the west are made aware that Ghana is a soverient stage, for that matter, no, i mean no person or group of people can intervere the way the state handles LGBT issues.”

Your view is a commonly expressed rationale for anti-LGBT discrimination, but it is incorrect.

In today’s world, the ancient concept of sovereignty survives only in a qualified way. Once a state signs an international human rights instrument, it cannot legitimately claim the sovereign right to violate those human rights with impunity. States that violate internationally recognized human rights risk facing international sanctions.

Ghana has signed a number of international treaties at the world and African levels that obligate it to respect certain human rights. The international community has in some cases the right or obligation to intervene when a country fails to meet certain human rights obligations, genocide and apartheid for example.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Court and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights were set up for this reason.
http://www.unictr.org/
http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC/About+the+Court/
http://www.african-court.org/en/

Arms embargoes, trade sanctions, the severing of transportation, sports, fiscal and cultural links and divestment rules that prohibited businesses from doing business in South Africa were examples of international intervention about apartheid.

In some cases, military intervention is justified due to human rights violations, as was the case in Bosnia.

Ghana has signed the following human rights instruments, among others:

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

UN Convention Against Torture

African Union Convention on the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights
http://www.achpr.org/english/ratifications/ratification_african%20charter.pdf

Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’s Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’w Rights
http://www.achpr.org/english/ratifications/ratification_court.pdf

The United Nations has published an expert consensus interpretation on how several United Nations human rights instruments protect LGBT persons: it is called the Yogyakarta Principles.
http://www.yogyakartaprinciples.org/

So, the international community is certainly justified to express its oppostion at the type of sexual cleansing that has been proposed in Ghana. In a worst case scenario, there is always the risk that one of these anti-gay histeria campaigns may lead to outright genocide.

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