A minister in Ghana has reportedly ordered the arrest of all gays and lesbians in the country’s Western Region. Paul Evans Aidoo, the minister for the region, has directed the Bureau of National Investigations and other agencies to find gay people and bring them before the courts.
He has also called on landlords and tenants to inform on those they believe to be gay. According to Ghanaian news reports, he said: “All efforts are being made to get rid of these people in the society.”
Mr Aidoo also said that he did not believe estimates of 8,000 gays and lesbians living in the West Region. According to Joy News, he said: “I don’t believe it; nobody believes it. We do not see them.”
The Ghanaian Constitution guarantees the protection of human rights regardless of “race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender”, but does not mention sexuality. In practice, few people in Ghana have been convicted of homosexual acts. Homophobic violence, however, remains a real problem, and gay Ghanaians are generally forced to hide their sexuality behind closed doors.