According to a statement releasd earlier today, the human rights
organisation is concerned that homophobic comments by political
figures such as Aidoo may result in violence against lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender people in Ghana.
Just last week he ordered security forces to arrest all gay and
lesbian people in the west of the country, and called on landlords
and tenants to report anyone they suspected of being gay or
Currently, persecution of homosexuals in Ghanma is rife. Chapter
6, article 104 of the Ghanian Criminal Code prohibits "unnatural
carnal knowledge", which is defined to include consensual sexual
intercourse between men.
"The use of laws to arrest, prosecute or imprison individuals
for consensual same-sex relations in private or on the basis of
their gender identity or expression is a violation of Ghana's
international human rights obligations under the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant
on Economic, Social an Cultural Rights (ICESCR)" the statement
"The rights enshrined in these international treaties include
the rights to privacy, freedom from discrimination, equal treatment
under the law, freedom of expression, association and assembly. The
Ghanian government has obligations under these standards to
promote, respect and protect the human rights of its population
without distinction of any kind, including on the basis of sexual
orientation or gender identity.
"Amnesty International calls on Minister Paul Evans Aidoo to
retract his comments, and for the Government of Ghana to overturn
article 104 of the Ghanian Criminal Code, which has the effect of
criminalising homosexuality in Ghana."