LGBTQ life in Africa: Arrests, arrests, arrests, arrests

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05/31/2021

The staggering pace of arrests of LGBTQ citizens continued today, as Uganda Police raided an LGBTQ shelter and detained 44 members of the LGBTQ community, repeating a familiar pattern of human rights violations in Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, and Nigeria as well as Uganda. Only last year, Uganda police arrested 20 homeless members of the LGBTQ community at an LGBTQ shelter. The shelter residents were held for 50 days without a chance to apply for bail before charges were dropped. They then sued two Uganda officials, accusing them of torture. Each of the detainees was awarded cash damages of 5 million Ugandan shillings (about US $1,341) as compensation for their mistreatment. The latest Ugandan raid came 11 days after Ghana police arrested 21 people during a raid on a training session on documenting violations of the human rights of LGBTQ Ghanaians. The arrestees remained in custody awaiting a court hearing since that May 20 raid. Also in Ghana, police in March arrested 14 LGBTQ people at an event that they mistakenly thought was a “lesbian wedding”. The arrestees were released after police realized the event was actually a birthday party.

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