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SIERRA LEONE RIGHTS BODY ISSUES REPORT ON HOMOPHOBIC TRENDS

in SIERRA LEONE, 15/02/2012

Dignity Association says since the statement made by British Prime Minister and US Secretary of State on LGBT rights in Africa, Sierra Leoneans had been angered that their country is a donor dependent and being forced to accept LGBT people.

Dignity Association, a human rights community based organization, that advocates LGBT rights in Sierra Leone, has issued a report on homophobic trends in that country.

In a statement sent to Behind the Mask in Nigeria from Sierra Leone, Dignity said that since the statement made by the British Prime Minister and the US Secretary of State on LGBT rights in Africa, Sierra Leoneans had been angered about the fact that Sierra Leone is a donor dependent country and the Government was being forced to accept LGBT people or the country would be adversely affected.

Mamadu Jalloh, the executive director of Dignity said, “This has caused a wide spread debate among Sierra Leoneans and the mass media. Several radio stations opened up phone in programs to get the public’s opinion about LGBT issues. Newspapers published negative messages about LGBT people as did the national television station. So far, from our assessment of the situation, Sierra Leoneans do not want to accept LGBT people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. So far the Government has kept silent over this issue.”

Jalloh confirmed recent reports from Sierra Leone of the condemnation of LGBT people by Christians and Muslims and the recently announced bi-monthly protests organized by an Islamic group.

Jalloh added, “As we are monitoring and evaluating the situation and deciding on an appropriate and timely response, we would like to inform our partners and the international community about the growing homophobic trend in Sierra Leone which has started causing problems for peaceful LGBT people in Sierra Leone.”

Jalloh said “The Dignity Association is strongly behind the British and the US Government and also the United Nations in putting pressure on African leaders to respect LGBT rights in their countries.”

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