The activist from Sierra Leone was murdered
It is with great pain that we share with you the news of the brutal murder of Fanny Ann Eddy. Fanny Ann was attacked in the offices of SLLAGA, the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, which she founded and directed, on the night of Wednesday September 29th. Assailants forced their way into the offices were Fanny Ann was working alone that night. According to early reports she was raped and had her neck broken.
The postmortem indicates that the circumstances of her death were different than what has been circulated. Apparently, she was strangled. According to the report, there were no stab wounds and no indication that she had been raped. No suspects have as yet been identified or questioned.
It seems that the investigation into Fannyann's murder is proceeding as it should. Equipment such as her computer, generator and mobile phone were missing from the office, making robbery at least a consideration. Naturally, the suspicion of homophobic bias in the murder of an outspoken activist is always there. At this point, there is no clear knowledge of what the motive may have been.Fanny Ann had been a long-time LGBT rights activist.
In spite of the notoriously male-dominated and homophobic society dominant in Sierra Leone, she courageously stood up as an out lesbian woman fighting for all sexual minorities, a choice that has now cost her her life. Fanny Ann came into the worldwide LGBT rights movement most notably as part of the LGBT delegation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights 2004 session in April. At the UNHCR in Geneva she spoke to the delegates to break the silence surrounding homosexuality in African countries and especially of that faced by lesbian and bisexual women. You can find a transcript of her testimony by clicking here
Her contribution to the LGBT movement was not only limited to Geneva and Sierra Leone. Fanny Ann was also an active participant in the recent All Africa Human Rights Symposium in Johannesburg, impressing the people that she met and earning herself a position on the interim All Africa Rights steering committee. Her commitment to Africa and her beloved Sierra Leone remained unwavering throughout her life. Although she has died a martyr we should all remember that she was a person who liked to go out and have fun, who loved her family and her 10-year old son who she has left behind. You can hear her in her own words in the following interview
that she gave to the African group, Behind the mask. She will be dearly missed.
In a personal remembrance of Fanny Ann
, ILGA Co-Secretary General, Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, invites us not to let her death be in vain. “Let Fanny Ann’s light live on in all of us. Let us rally around and work together to obtain that which we set out to obtain and do so in a manor that is respectful of the memory of all Fanny Anns in the world that have made the ultimate sacrifice.”The funeral is planned for Thursday, October 7 in Freetown.
Several individuals and groups are trying to work out a mechanism to accept donations for the funeral costs, her son and SLLAGA. At the moment, it seems that Behind the Mask is the best place to contact: www.mask.org.za, or email Daniel@mask.org.za.
Thanks to Corinne Dufka of Human Rights Watch, who has kept in communication with the police in Freetown and to Paula L. Ettelbrick, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission for the latest news on Fanny Ann.