If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans, be aware of travel advisories in Ghana and Africa in general.
by Melanie Nathan, December 10, 2023
As Ghana gears for the new anti-LGBTQI+ law, with amendments currently being debated in Parliament, people are on heightened alert and AHRC cannot stress enough the dangers to everyone in Ghana, including tourists.
The new law, which the Speaker of Ghana's Parliament, Alban Bagbin, promises will be enacted before year's end, is a danger to anyone who "holds out" as being LGBT lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or an ally). By merely identifying as such (and even if one is perceived as such) one can receive a long prison sentence which will land at anything between 3-10 years, depending on the final legislation.
If the law passes it effectively means that if Tim Cook, the openly gay CEO of Apple, decides to visit and inspect the Apple Store in Accra, he could be arrested for "holding out" as gay and serve time in a Ghanaian prison. Not to mention the rest of us!
This reminds of an old case back in 2022 where people were accused of homosexual acts at a hotel and where the case was dismissed by the Courts. The new law will make it much easier to convict.
As a consequence of the 2022 case, an employee of Mariam Hotels received the letter below, terminating his employment. I have reposted this letter to show the extent to which Ghanaians demonize LGBT people and those perceived as such.
The person who worked at Mariam Hotels in Tamale, Ghana, and was fired by the below letter, denied the accusations.
One notes the viciousness and extreme dehumanization as expressed in the letter by Mariam Hotels.
Once the new law passes it is predicted that many people will be outed and subjected to similar treatment. Not only will people likely lose employment, but accusations will place LGBT people and their advocates or allies in grave danger on many fronts, to include violent retributive action by state and non- state actors.
The U.S State Department has warned U.S. citizens against traveling to Ghana, as noted in this article: https://www.africanhrc.org/single-post/u-s-embassy-ghana-warns-lgbtqi-travelers
African Human Rights Coalition is drawing attention to Mariam Hotels and the dangers it may present for any tourist who chooses to stay there, given this extreme anti gay view. In the unlikely event that the law does not pass, the exiting criminalizing laws prescribes three years in prison for "acts against the order of nature." Due to the high popularity of the new law, any failire to pass it will bring dangerous persecution to LGBTQI+ people in Ghana, to include anyone perceived as such and their allies.
By Melanie Nathan Country Conditions Expert Witness for LGBTQI+ Asylum seekers from Ghana SEE HERE