Police in northern Ghana in West Africa have arrested a 21-year-old student in response to area residents’ threats that they would kill him for wearing women’s clothing, having gay sex and seeking gay partners.
The police commander in the small town of Walewale, capital of the West Mamprusi district, said police arrested Yakubu Abdul Kadrito, age 21, to save him from a lynching, the website of Peace FM radio reported.
It also published pictures of the suspect in handcuffs and in women’s clothing. Gay Star News reported:
A Muslim sheik, Mahamadu Alhassan, condemned the young man and reportedly led a crusade of locals against him.
The suspect’s family were targeted by an angry group with weapons at their home, and were told their son should not return if he is released, and are now living in fear.
Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) have spoken out against the uproar, saying the treatment of the suspect and his family is a violation of human rights.
They have called for protection of the suspected gay man and his family.
According to PeaceFMonline.com, police had not decided how to handle the situation, in which area residents threatened to kill the young man and his family if he is released locally.
Sheik Mahamadu Alhassan led a raid on the family home by “angry weapon-wielding residents,” the website said.
Under the laws of Ghana, sex between men is a misdemeanor punishable by one to three years in prison.
In addition, mob justice is a problem. Gay Star News reported that in May, a gay man was lynched by an anti-gay mob of 30 Muslim young men.
PeaceFMonline also reported that Alhaji Ismael Ridwan, age 35, was arrested near Tamale, also in northern Ghana, on charges of engaging in “gay practice with a number of boys.” He was granted release on 500 GHc bail (US $132) while police conduct an investigation.
In an interview last year, Ghana President John Dramani Mahama said that the country’s intense anti-gay hostility creates barriers to even discussing the possibility of fair treatment for LGBT people, especially by politicians.
“I believe that laws must prevail,” he said. “For instance, people must not be beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, but in my country there is a strong cultural hostility towards it,” Mahama told the Marietta Daily Journal in Marietta, Georgia.
“It’s a difficult situation, but I guess it’s something that –– it’s very difficult to comment on because often it creates more problems,” Mahama said.
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