A group of Muslims held the third anti-gay protest of recent weeks in the Lumley district of Freetown, Sierra Leone last Friday, saying they were committed to combating the promotion of LGBT rights. The group, which so far remains unnamed, staged its first protest on Friday December 30, 2011 in the east of Freetown, and marshalled the support of close to 1,000 people.
According to Sierra Leonean media reports, the protests will now be held every two weeks. The demonstrations are in response to the controversy around the pro-gay conditions for aid with regards to LGBT rights made by the British (and later US) government last year.
The group of Muslims say they are against any kind of same-sex relationship in Sierra Leone.
Information reaching Behind the Mask revealed that so far the group has had three protests in Freetown with the last one being last week Friday.
Imam Marrah, one of the leaders of the protesters told the Africa Review website in an interview, “What we know as human rights will conform to the laws of nature. Woman to man so that we can grow in number.”
George Freeman, leader of a Freetown Pro-Gay organisation WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com said, “The message of the protesters is that homosexuality has no place with the cultural and religious context of Sierra Leone.”
The demands of the protesters are obvious but it is unclear whether they are requesting action by the government before they stop the protests. Freeman said that the protests are, “Igniting homophobia and transphobia” in the country and were a great threat to the work of promoting LGBT rights.
Asked if civil society or other human rights organizations had reacted to the protests, Freeman said “[In Sierra Leone] civil society is very homophobic and [they] do not consider LGBT rights as human rights.”
The next protest is scheduled for Friday February 17, 2012.