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Chilling footage shows Ghanaian police violently raiding a ‘lesbian wedding’ and arresting 22 people

Josh Milton March 30, 2021
Ghana police violently raid alleged lesbian wedding and arrest 22 people

Video footage shows the moment police clash with attendees of an alleged 'lesbian wedding' in Ghana. (Screen captures via Twitter/@AEC_GH)

Authorities in Ghana arrested 22 people suspected of taking part in a lesbian wedding in the latest chilling clampdown on the LGBT+ community.

Startling video footage from Ghana Web shows the moments after the police force stormed a property at Obomeng, Kwahu South.

“Why are you pushing me like that?” one of the alleged wedding-goers screams at a man who appeared to be a police officer. “Arrest everybody!” an officer out of shot shouts.

As officers scuffled with attendees, a local who, activists claimed, stayed up to assist the police, can be heard saying: “We will burn them, we will burn all of them.”

At least 22 were arrested and are, at the time of writing, all being held in police custody at the neighbouring Mpraeso Police Station, according to reports by advocacy group the African Equality Centre. Eight fled the scene, it is understood.

Senior police officers said that the detained likely face charges of breaking COVID-19 restrictions, echoing other African nations entrenched in colonial-era laws that have weaponised such regulations to clamp down on their LGBT+ citizens.

In Ghana, officers who feel being LGBT+ is ‘taboo’ raid alleged lesbian wedding

Police chiefs and local leaders claimed a “lesbian wedding” was taking place at the home – but cops later found no evidence of such an event taking place, The Rustin Times, an LGBT+ news outlet, reported.

“There was no marriage going on, or there was no blessing of a marriage ceremony between two ladies,” sergeant Francis Gomado of the Eastern Regional Police Command said on Angel 102.9 FM.

Attendees have also sought to attest this – they told police the function was a “birthday party”, Gomado said.

Mpraeso station’s chief, Nana Effah Opinaman III, also told the radio station that he caught wind of the alleged wedding.

He described being LGBT+ as “taboo” before saying he is cooperating with local faith leaders to “cleanse” the town and the property. The homeowners will also be brought in for questioning, he added.

Marriage equality is illegal in Ghana and won’t be legalised anytime soon, president Nana Akufo-Addo said earlier this month.

Law enforcement, lawmakers and conservative campaigners have in recent weeks amped up their attacks on the queer community after a fledgeling LGBT+ charity notched an upset by setting up an office.

It was a simple ceremony. Pride flags raised and European Union officials in attendance. But the opening of LGBT+ Rights Ghana’s safe space deeply rankled the religious right.

Soon enough, the police unlawfully raided the office, prompting its member to flee in terror and now fear for their lives.

LGBT+ Rights Ghana has since launched a defiant fundraiser to rebuild its office.

More: COVID-19, Ghana, Homophobia, lesbian

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