top of page

Wave of Arrests of Gays Across Africa

ETHIOPIA: Authorities in the Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, have announced a crackdown on same-sex activity in hotels and bars and called on people to report the "abominable" acts to police.(AFP and The Associated Press.)

The Addis Ababa Peace and Security Administration Bureau said it was taking measures "against hotels, restaurants, guest houses and other entertainment venues suspected of involvement in homosexual acts." It said in a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday that it had already raided a guest house in Addis Ababa following a tipoff and its manager had been arrested. The government body "will continue to crack down on such abominable acts, which are despised by God and man, in cooperation with the police," it said, urging people with information about same-sex activity to report it to the authorities.

Gay sex is illegal for both men and women in Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous country, and some offenses can carry a punishment of up to 15 years in prison.

LGBTQ activist group The House of Guramayle said there had been an escalation in attacks against people in Ethiopia "based on their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity." "Individuals suspected of belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community are being physically attacked in Ethiopia," it said in a statement issued on Monday, accusing users on social media platform TikTok of fueling the violence. “TikTok is being used to incite violence,” said Bahiru Shewaye, co-founder of House of Guramayle. TikTok did not respond to requests for comment. In one video posted on Aug. 5, a popular Evangelical Christian pastor calls for gay people to be stripped naked and publicly whipped, which he said would deter LGBTQIA+ members from the country. The pastor's account has over 250,000 followers.

In another video posted Aug. 2, a TikTok user calls for gay men to be stabbed in the buttocks. In a third, posted in the past week, a young man says, “We should find them and kill them,” before making a stomping gesture with his foot.

A 2022 U.S. State Department report on the rights situation in Ethiopia said there had been no reports of people being incarcerated or prosecuted for engaging in consensual same-sex sexual conduct. It said while there were reports of violence against LGBTQI+ people, there were no hate crime laws or other judicial mechanisms for the investigation of abuses against members of the community. It is important to note that the country conditions for LGBTQI+ people in Ethiopia is dangerous regardless of whether or not the law is implemented or enforced. This is because the law just by virtue of its existence serves to license state and non-state actors to attack, persecute and discriminate against LGBTQI+ people, who are perceived as abominations and common criminals just based on their SOGIESC.

UGANDA First Ugandan Charged Under New Anti Homosexuality Death Penalty Clause Reuters is reporting in an Exclusive Report the following: First Ugandan charged with 'aggravated homosexuality' punishable by death: "A 20-year-old man has become the first Ugandan to be charged with "aggravated homosexuality", an offence punishable by death under the country's recently enacted anti-gay law, prosecutors and his lawyer said. Defying pressure from Western governments and rights organisations, Uganda in May enacted one of the world's harshest laws targeting the LGBT community.

DENIED BAIL - Six Peer Educators Arrested in Ugandan Gay Hunts , By Melanie Nathan, April 17, 2023. The Ugandan Court in Jinja has denied bail to 6 young peer educators working for healthcare organizations, falsely accused, under made-up charges of “forming part of a criminal sexual network.” The arrests came hours after President Museveni described gay people as "deviants" and called for an investigation into homosexuality, before Members of Parliament passed the new Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, which includes life in prison and the death penalty for so called "aggravated homosexuality." At writing, the legislation, otherwise known as THE KILL THE GAYS BILL is in the hands of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, awaiting his assent. The men were arrested in n Kiira and Jinja City pursuant to what the Ugandan government publicly promised would be a crackdown on organizations providing services to LGBTI people. The orchestrated hunt to shut down all LGBTQI+ Healthcare, and Human Rights related organizations in Uganda, is part of an effort to rid Uganda and Africa “of all homosexuality” and LGBTQI+ people, as called for by President Museveni. The call to target, attack, raid, shut down and arrest personnel is evidenced by an internal document which African Human Rights obtained, naming organizations under false accusations. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Bureau for NGOs set up a list to target these groups, based on this false persecutory report of the Ministry. HERE The false language used to set up these young men appears directly from police website and Facebook posts. HERE The Ugandan press has been mischaracterizing the peer educators and healthcare workers as "porn actors," evidencing the fact that Uganda's press is often complicit in the persecution of LGBTI Ugandans, adding to the danger the community faces in the country. This story has spread though many Ugandan publications to include false information, that serves to license the violence and mass panic we are seeing at African Human Rights Coalition. The Ugandan police have used FACEBOOK as a persecutory tool to OUT the men, even revealing home addresses. This is dramatically impacting families and all their contacts who are now facing harassment, and many of whom have gone into hiding or left the country, forcibly displaced. The six accused are presently being represented by lawyers from HRAPF, an Ugandan Human Rights NGO.

Accused of Being Gay Ugandan Peer Educators Are Denied Justice JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED. By Melanie Nathan, June 05,2023. The Judge did not show up to Court, yet again, and six young men, unjustly accused, under made up false charges, continue to languish, barely fed and tortured in the an Ugandan Prison cell, in Jinja, still effectively denied bail and a trial. This is the fifth remand - until June 26th. They have been in prison, innocent, unable to prove their case since March. Sureties and advocates have shown up to court, at expense, only to have to leave with no action on behalf of the young men. The state is aware they are depleting resources for these young men.

Uganda Report on Escalating Anti-Gay Violations of Human rights By Melanie Nathan, September 14, 2023 In May 2023, President Museveni of Uganda signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, other wise known as The Kill the Gays Bill, into law. Since that time a human rights legal defense organization, HRAPF, in Uganda, has been reporting monthly on cases of violations of LGBTI people's rights, as well as arrests, since enactment of the new law. The law carries the death penalty for so called "aggravating homosexuality"..

ANTI-LGBTQI Violence and Arrests on Rise in Uganda Since passage of Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 IN March of 2023 the Ugandan parliamentarians, all but for one, HON. ODOI-OYWELOWO voted for THE KILL HE GAYS BILL, ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY ACT OF 2023, (AHA) THAT WAS DULY SIGNED INTO LAW BY PRESIDENT MUSEVENI. Since that date violence has increased against LGBTI people in the country exponentially:

Anti-LGBTI+ Attacks in Uganda Since passage of Kill the Gays Bill, Here is the HRAPF report on cases of violence and violations based on real or imputed SOGIE since the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023, known as the "Kill the Gays Bill", came into force on 29th May 2023. It covers the period 30th May 2023 to 30th June 2023.

NIGERIA Nigerian police raided an alleged gay wedding, which is illegal in the country, in the southern city of Warri in Delta state, and arrested 67 people, authorities said in a statement, following a tipoff from a person who knew of the event. The tipoff about the ceremony came during police interrogation on Aug. 27 of a male cross-dresser, who was dressed as a female, Delta police spokesman Edafe Bright said in a statement late on Tuesday. The statement didn't say when the raid took place. Bright said those arrested would be charged in court.

In Nigeria, like in most parts of Africa, homosexuality is generally viewed as unacceptable, and a 2014 anti-gay law, The Same-Sex Marriage Protection Act (SSMPA) took effect despite international condemnation.

"The policemen chased and arrested a total number of 67 suspects" for allegedly conducting and attending a same-sex wedding ceremony, Bright said.

Efforts were under way to arrest others who fled the scene, Bright said.

Africa's most populous nation's anti-gay law includes a prison term of up to 14 years for those convicted, and bans gay marriage, same-sex relationships, and membership of gay rights groups. Since the raid and arrests the Court has now released on bail.

A court sitting in southern oil-producing Delta state ruled that the suspects would be released from prison detention after posting 500,000 naira ($645) bail each to the court, lawyer Ochuko Ohimor said.

Pic: Ugandan Police


bottom of page