How a US group with links to the far-right may have influenced a crackdown on Ghana’s LGBTQ community

This article is over 3 months old

How a US group with links to the far-right may have influenced a crackdown on Ghana’s LGBTQ community

How a US group with links to the far-right may have influenced a crackdown on Ghana’s LGBTQ community

Elites in Ghana’s northern Togo Island consider supporting the hardline stance taken by President Nana Akufo-Addo towards its LGBTQ community.

Femi Adam-Ali, a “public relations specialist”, was found dead at his home in Koforidua city in August. His cause of death has not been established.

Accra Pride: Nana Akufo-Addo condemns ‘gay rally’ in Ghana Read more

The estate where he was found dead was being renovated by the Democratic Peoples’ Congress (DPC), a “populist political party”, according to the Togo Times.

Adam-Ali’s uncle, Bimbo Lazaabi, who is also chairman of the DPC in Kakutejo county, is said to have been entrusted with the commissioning of the renovation work.

The southern Kakutejo County seat is held by the DPC.

Togo police deny police murders of LGBTQ people Read more

“Adam-Ali’s death raised concerns in some quarters. Some alleged that he might have been murdered because he assisted the LGBTQ people,” it said.

In the confusion that followed Adam-Ali’s death, the family believed it had been due to a suicide.

Akufo-Addo condemned the Pride Day event after it was held to protest the death.

He spoke to police in Accra, capital of Ghana, where the vigil was held, and it was withdrawn to avoid a backlash.

The national police chief said the force was under orders to send out 100,000 officers to disrupt the protests.

But the opposition Grand National Union party (GNU) said Akufo-Addo “cloaked his dictates in the words of the Bible and African ethics.

“He wanted a number of youths under this group to cry out publicly, to warn that the next time we see our LGBTQ friends, we are looking for them,” GNU regional chairman, Asamoah Asante, told the Ghanaian Times.

People protested against the crackdown, which apparently led to the arrests of two prominent LGBTQ activists.

One is said to have gone missing.

It is unclear if Adam-Ali, who had led a group called Loving House, with the stated aim of offering free “homosexuality counselling” in the northern city of Togo, was involved in any of the protests.

Lamba Bawo, a spokesperson for the Togo LGBTQ community, says his colleagues on the island were paying the price of illegal arrests and prosecutions.

“If it was just the MPs, we can handle it. They have nothing to do with it. It is because of the lobby group [government]. They [NGOs] are working with the government. In the last four or five months, all of them have been arrested. One of them ran away and nobody has heard of him since. There have been forced disappearances,” he said.

Akufo-Addo has not yet commented on the report of Adam-Ali’s death or the campaign that may have influenced it.

A spokesman for Akufo-Addo’s office referred the Guardian to the police for any comment.

Liberty Watje, executive director of Liberty Ghana, says Lazaabi and his organisation are part of a network of human rights defenders fighting for LGBTQ rights.

“Bimbo and the DPC are effectively taking money from international and local companies and individuals to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ people. It is a money-making business,” she said.

Leave a Comment