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Anti-gay Ivory Coast attack sends guard to hospital

"Stop homos" says a sign posted by neighbors of LGBT rights activists in Ivory Coast. (Photo courtesy of Alternative Cote d'Ivoire)

“Stop homos” says a sign posted by neighbors of LGBT rights activists in Ivory Coast. (Photo courtesy of Alternative Cote d’Ivoire)

Anti-gay attackers today broke into the office of an LGBT rights group in Ivory Coast, sending a security guard to the hospital and ransacking the premises.

It was the fourth such attack this week on Alternative Côte d’Ivoire, which combats AIDS and advocates for human rights for LGBT people.

Claver Touré, the association’s executive director, said:

“At 2:50 p.m. today (Jan. 25), the office of Alternative Côte d’Ivoire was ransacked. Everything that could be taken was removed; the rest was broken.

“Our security guard was injured and is in critical condition after being taken to the hospital.

“We called for help from the police station, which is just three minutes from our premises, but the police did not move an inch.”

Touré said that he later received calls of support from the French ambassador, the Minister of State and the Minister of the Interior.

“As they say, better late than never,” he commented.

Touré’s nearby home was attacked by a mob on Jan. 20. Police responded to the scene and evacuated him and two colleagues to safety.

On Jan. 22, the office was vandalized.

On Jan. 23, a mob of about 20 people surrounded the Alternative CI office, shouted threats and threw rocks.

On Jan. 24, the human rights advocacy group Front Line Defenders reported that rumors were circulating that “a more virulent attack” was foreseen on Jan. 25.  That rumor turned out to be true.

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