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Anti-LGBTQI bill is trying to codify into law spirit of mob action, violence and vigilantism – Davis Mac-Iyalla

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Director of Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa (IDNOWA), Davis Mac-Iyalla

The Director of Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa (IDNOWA), Davis Mac-Iyalla has said the passing of the Anti-LGBTQI bill into law will codify the spirit of mob action, violence and vigilantism that exist in many parts of the country.

Addressing the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee at the third public hearing on Thursday, Mr Mac-Iyalla said a number of “sexual minorities in Ghana have been attacked by mobs, subjected to sexual assault, intimidation and extortion.”

He added that dozens of the attacks and arrests of these minority groups have been documented by Human Rights Organizations in Ghana.

“In the past years, sexual minorities suffered entrapment and blackmail on social media. They are subjected to sexual assault, intimidation and extortion,” he noted.

According to him, since these minorities groups have in the past years been treated unfairly, the passing of the Anti-LGBTQI bill will only “strengthen more of these horrible situations.”

He pointed out some instances of attacks. He said: “In August 2015, in Nima in Accra, a young man was allegedly brutally assaulted by members of a vigilante group known as ‘Safety Empire’ simply because they suspect he was gay.

“In May 2016, in a village outside of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, a mother of a young woman organised a mob to beat up her daughter because she suspected the young woman was a lesbian. The girl and her friends were forced to flee the village.’”  

With the instances provided, he was of the view that the bill when passed “will enshrine hatred into law.”

“It will increase stigma towards those who are viewed as different or non-conforming. It will legitimise hatred against neighbours, police officers will feel empowered and even people from their own family will be able to continue to attack those that are perceived to be LGBTIQ,” he said.

Mr Mac-Iyalla further suggested that the nation should rather channel its interest to address multiple crisis the country is faced with such as Covid-19, debt, climate change and regional instability than to push for the passing of the Anti-LGBTQ bill.



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