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Ghanaian man narrowly escapes being burned alive by violent ‘vigilante’ gang who suspected him of being gay

Patrick Kelleher March 11, 2020
Ghana: Man violently beaten by vigilante group on suspicion of being gay beheading

LGBT+ rights are heavily suppressed in Ghana. (Creative Commons)

A man in Ghana is said to have narrowly escaped death after he was violently beaten by a “vigilante” group of 10 men who suspected him of being gay.

The incident occurred in Accra, Ghana on February 11, where homosexuality is illegal and anti-LGBT+ sentiment is common.

Ebenezer Okang was in his own home when two young men visited and asked if he had any availability for a tenant.

A group of 10 men later stormed the house where they shouted at the top of their voices that he was gay and had been having affairs with young men in the community.

They proceeded to beat Okang with clubs, machetes, stones and sticks, Modern Ghana reports.

The man’s movements had been monitored for some time by the anti-gay vigilante group.

The “vigilante” group have reportedly been monitoring the man’s movements for some time and have even questioned young men who were seen near him.

“He had cuts on his forehead, elbow, wrist and leg after he was attacked with sticks, bottles and machetes,” said eyewitness Kingsley Kwei, who made a report to police in Accra about the incident.

He continued: “Mr Okang could have lost his life if not for the intervention of a pastor of a local church in the community who quickly organised some elderly men in the community to stop the fuming youth. He would been set ablaze with a used car tyre and a gallon of petrol the mob had bought.”

This is not the first time the man has been attacked. A similar incident occurred two years ago, and he was set upon again on New Year’s Eve when on his way home from a night out with his family.

He had cuts on his forehead, elbow, wrist and leg after he was attacked with sticks, bottles and machetes.

He told Modern Ghana that he was attacked in July 2018 at the Teshie Homowo festival. He said he was heckled and slapped and had alcoholic drinks poured on him.

Speaking about the attack on New Year’s Eve, Okang said he had to leave his wife and children in the car and run for safety when he was attacked at a fuel station.

“I got to know later that my wife bolted with my kids in a taxi to my mother’s place,” he said.

Anti-LGBT+ sentiment makes it difficult for people to report crime in Ghana.

Furthermore, the man revealed that he did not report either of those incidents to police because of Ghana’s anti-LGBT+ laws and attitudes.

He has since reported the abuse to police after he started death threats by phone.

The horrific incident will likely not come as a great surprise to the people of Ghana, where LGBT+ people often face violence and discrimination.

According to Human Rights Watch, LGBT+ people living in Ghana suffer discrimination and abuse in public and in private, and are still living under colonial-era law which prohibits gay sex.

More: Ebenezer Okang, Ghana, Hate crime, Homophobia, lgbt rights in ghana

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