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1 H U M A N W c e b u t t o D e n y o h o I A m ” N “ C h o i R I G H T S D i s c r i m i n a t i o n a g a i n s t L G B T p e o p l e i n G h a n a V i o l e n c e a n d W A T C H

2 “No Choice but to Deny Who I Am” Violence and Discrimination against LGBT People in Ghana

3 Copyright © 2018 Human Rights Watch All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America ISBN: 978-1-6231-35621 Cover design by Rafael Jimenez Human Rights Watch defends the rights of peop le worldwide. We scrupulously investigate abuses, expose the facts widely, and pressure those with power to respect rights and secure justice. Human Rights Watch is an in dependent, international organization that works as part of a vibrant movement to up hold human dignity and advance the cause of human rights for all. Human Rights Watch is an international organiza tion with staff in more than 40 countries, and offices in Amsterdam, Beir ut, Berlin, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Goma, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Nairobi, New Yo rk, Paris, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Tunis, Washington DC, and Zurich. For more information, please visi t our website: http://www.hrw.org

4 J 2018 ISBN: 978-1-6231-35621 ANUARY “No Choice but to Deny Who I Am” Violence and Discrimination agai nst LGBT People in Ghana Map of Ghana ... ... I Glossary ... ... II Summary ... ... 1 Recommenda tions ... 6 To the President ... 6 To Parliament ... 6 To the Inspector General of Police: Ghana Police Services ... 7 To the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department ... 7 To the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice ... 8 To the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights ... 8 To Donors ... 9 . 10 Methodology ... I. Backgr ound ... .. 12 Inciting Homophobic Violence ... 15 Coerced Marriage ... 18 Family Rejection and II. The Criminal Code, an d Calls to Amend It ... 22 The Constitution Review Commission ... 26 III. Abuses against LGBT Peop le ... 30 Arrests ... 31 Physical Violence ... 33 Domestic Violence against Lesbian and Bisexual Women ... 39 Public Violence, Blackmail and Extortion of Gay Men ... 42 No Access to Justice ... 44 IV. Signs of Positive State Action ... 47 Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice ... 47

5 Ghana Police Practice ... 47 Obligati V. Ghana’s Legal ons ... 53 Obligations under International Law ... 55 ments ... 60 Acknowledg Annex 1: African Commission on Human an d Peoples’ Rights Resolution 275 ... 61 Annex 2: Human Rights Watch Lett er to Ghana Poli ce Service ... 63 Annex 3: Response from Servic e ... 65 Ghana Police Annex 4: Human Rights Watch Letter to the Minister of Justice ... 68 Annex 5: Human Rights Watch Letter to Human Rights Commission ... 70 Annex 6: Terminology used in Ghana ... 72

6 Map of Ghana I ANUARY ATCH IGHTS J W 2018 R UMAN H |

7 Glossary Bisexual Sexual orientation of a person who is sexually and both men and women. romantically attracted to Synonym in many parts of th e world for homosexual; used in Gay this report to refer to the sexual orientation of a male whose primary sexual and romantic attraction is toward other males. Gender s opposed to biological sex) Social and cultural codes (a used to distinguish between what a society considers “masculine” or “fe minine” conduct. Gender A person’s internal, deeply felt sense of being female or r than female or male. A male, both, or something othe Identity not necessarily correspond to person’s gender identity does the sex assigned at birth. scrimination against homosexuals Fear of, contempt of, or di Homophobia d on negative stereotypes of or homosexuality, usually base homosexuality. Homosexual rson whose primary sexual and Sexual orientation of a pe romantic attractions are toward people of the same sex. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender; an inclusive term for LGBT groups and identities sometimes associated together as “sexual and gender minorities.” male whose primary sexual and Sexual orientation of a fe Lesbian romantic attraction is toward other females. HO O ” AM I II W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

8 Men who have sexual relations with persons of the same sex, Men Who Have Sex with but may or may not identify themselves as gay or bisexual. Men (MSM) MSM may or may not also have sexual relationships with women. The way a person’s sexual and romantic desires are directed. Sexual on is attracted primarily to Orientation The term describes whether a pers people of the same sex, a different sex, both or neither. The commercial exchange of sexual services between Sex Work consenting adults. Transgender The gender identity of people whose birth (which they were declared to have upon birth) does not conform to their lived gender that they are most and/or perceived gender (and comfortable with expressing or would express given a choice). A transgender person usually adopts, or would prefer to adopt, a gender expression in consonance with their preferred gender but may or may not desire to characteristics in order to permanently alter their bodily conform to their preferred gender. III IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

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10 Summary ief Executive in my town called me In mid-September 2009, the District Ch ence room and made to sit in the for a meeting...I was taken to the confer if I was a lesbian, and I said no. middle of about 50 people. They asked me boot on my mouth, said I shouldn’t One police officer kicked me with his talk. I started bleeding. Then everybody started to beat me. They took me outside, dragging me and beating me at the same time. A youth boy put a car tire around my neck and poured petrol over my body, ready to burn me. The pastor said I should conf ess everything before I die. -Pearl, 30-year-old woman, January 2017, Kumasi, Ghana Ghana has a mixed record on its treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender knowledge” in section 104 (1) (b) of its (LGBT) people. It criminalizes “unnatural carnal Criminal Offences Act, which the authorities in terpret as “penile pene tration of anything the law is a colonial legacy that is rarely, if ever, enforced, other than a vagina.” However, and unlike several of its neighbors, Ghana ha s not taken steps in recent years to stiffen or to expressly criminalize sexual penalties against consensual same-sex conduct relations between women. At least two govern ment agencies, the Ghana Police Force and ive Justice (CHRAJ), have reached out to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrat ing through providing human rights training LGBT people and taken proactive steps, includ workshops to help ensure their protection. Nevertheless, LGBT people are very frequently ion and discrimination in many and psychological abuse, extort victims of physical violence eir sexual orientation and gender identity. different aspects of daily life, because of th ted between December 2016 and February 2017 This report is based on interviews conduc l of the northern region of Ghana), Kumasi in Accra (Ghana’s capital), Tamale (the capita a) and Cape Coast (capital of Central region (the capital of Ashanti region in southern Ghan lf-identify as LGBT. It documents the human in southern Ghana) with 114 Ghanaians who se iminal Offences Act (Act 29) on the lives of rights impact of section 104(1)(b) of the 1960 Cr y, prosecutions under this provision, Human LGBT people in Ghana. Despite the rare, if an Rights Watch found that the criminalizatio same-sex conduct n of adult consensual and discrimination against LGBT people is contributes to a climate in which violence 1 IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

11 section 104(1)(b) – commonly referred to as the anti-gay law – is common. The retention of ion, and even violence, often seen as tacit state approval of discriminat on the basis of real so contributes to a social and gender identity. The law al or imputed sexual orientation environment in which there is pervasive viol ence against lesbian, bisexual and gender non-conforming women in the home and LGBT people more generally in communities where they live. people have, on numerous occasions, been This report documents how dozens of LGBT attacked both by mobs and members of their own families, subjected to sexual assault, intimidation and extortion. Fo r instance, in August 2015 in Nima, Accra, a young man was allegedly brutally assaulted by members of a vigilante group known as Safety Empire simply because they suspected he was gay. Also, several men described being severely compromising situations and beaten by mobs of young me n—often after being lured into in a village outside Kumasi in the Ashanti blackmailed on social media. In May 2016 zed a mob to beat up her daughter and region, the mother of a young woman organi lesbians and in a same-sex relationship. another woman because she suspected they were The two young women were forced to flee the village. anaians interviewed by Human Rights Watch Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Gh ion of adult consensual same-sex conduct and said that the combination of the criminalizat the profoundly religious and socially conser vative Ghanaian context has an insidious that they either felt they xpression. All the interviewees said effect on their individual self-e worse, deny their sexual t self-censoring behavior, or had little choice but to adop family members and the communities identity to avoid suspicion by orientation or gender told Human Rights Watch that in certain in which they live. Numerous interviewees violence, extortio instances, such suspicion has led to n and arrests. Lesbian, bisexual women and transgender men are frequently victims of domestic ted to a mob assault for being a lesbian is violence. While Pearl’s story of being subjec in Ghana often takes place in the privacy of horrific, violence against this group of women feel the most secure. The report details their own homes–the place where they ought to and sexual orientation renders gender non- the ways in which the intersection of gender conforming women particularly vulnerable to do mestic violence. While recognizing that the legal framework affects the lives of LGBT indivi duals generally, it is imperative to highlight HO O ” AM I 2 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

12 are subjected to in the private sphere, the abuse that lesbian and bisexual women domination and control over women’s lives, particularly by family members who exercise bodies and sexuality. Numerous lesbians described being threatened with violence, beaten and driven from their family homes after family members learned of their sexu al orientation. One woman associating with LGBT people, they chased said that when her family heard that she was her out of the house with a machete; since then, she has not been able to go back home to visit her two-year-old daughter. Most lesb ian and bisexual women told Human Rights Watch that they have no choice but to hide their sexuality from their family members and nforming to family and that they are expected to marry men and ha ve children, thereby co masi said that when her family suspected societal expectations. A young woman from Ku she was a lesbian, they took her to a prayer camp where she was severely beaten over a “deviant” sexuality. Prayer camps, run by period of one month to “cure” her of her ions with roots in the evangelical or privately-owned Christian religious institut Pentecostal denominations, are supposed to serve as a refuge for people seeking man Rights Watch report, there are several spiritual healing. According to a 2014 Hu hundred prayer camps in Ghana. Many LGBT Ghanaians told Human Rights Watc h that their lives have been torn apart ality; the fear of violence perpetrated by because of the stigma associated with homosexu family members and others in the community and homelessness, should their sexual orientation be disclosed. The negative public discourse about LGBT people, who are spaces, combined with the risk of physical referred to in derogatory terms in public ychological implications. Many interviewees said they constantly violence has severe ps with hiding their sexuality, thus living double lives, to struggle with the stress associated n, many succumb to the pressure to marry. stay safe. Facing the risk of family rejectio Others, ostracized from their families, find th emselves with few economic options, leading some to rely on sex work as a means of survival. hibited them from reporting to authorities for LGBT victims of crime said the anti-gay law in ana’s laws ought to protect ever fear of exposure and arrest. Gh yone from violence, but fear em, combined with social stigma, serves as a that the anti-gay law could be used against th 3 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

13 a young man from Kumasi told Human Rights barrier to seeking access to justice. Felix, Watch that in 2016 he was raped by a man he had met on social media, but did not report would be arrested for having “gay sex”. the rape to the police out of fear that he In one high-profile case, Accra police arrested a suspect in a vicious mob attack against a ading LGBT people to not gone to trial, le gay man in August 2015—but his case has still question whether it is futile to seek ju stice in the aftermath of homophobic and ively investigated the case, the prosecutor transphobic violence. While the police effect k Court in Accra failed to appear in court. who was assigned to the case in the Fast Trac Ghana is a country of profound contradictions . Despite its status as a liberal democracy, ental human rights to all its citizens, a with a constitution that guarantees fundam al human rights institution, relatively responsive police fo rce, and an independent nation the government has consistently rejected ca lls by United Nations bodies, including the Periodic Review of Ghana’s human rights Human Rights Council during the Universal rnal knowledge. ” Ghanaian society is also record, to repeal the law against “unnatural ca ational Association, very religious. According to a survey co nducted by Gallup Intern approximately 96 percent of the population claim to follow some form of religious belief the south and Islam in the north play a system. Christianity, the dominant religion in y, and inform the view that homosexuality is significant role in Ghanaian culture and societ an abomination and contrary to re ligious beliefs and teachings. d notably from February 2017, a few opinion Human Rights Watch found that since 2010, an officials and parliamentarians have called for further leaders including government . In February 2017, the Spea criminalization of LGBT people ker of Parliament, Professor Mike Ocquaye, referred to homosexuality as an “abomination” and reportedly called for stricter laws against same-sex conduct and in July 2017, during a public discussion with olishing the death penalty, he equated Amnesty International about prospects for ab homosexuality with bestiality. Homophobic statements, not only by local an d national government officials, but also local traditional elders, and senior religi te to a climate of ous leaders, contribu HO O ” AM I 4 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

14 le on the basis of real or incite violence toward peop homophobia and in some cases, n or gender identity. imputed sexual orientatio On a positive note, in June 2016, during the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations in Geneva the official delegation of the rsecution and violence based on sexual affirmed that Ghanaian law prohibits pe orientation and gender identity. Ghana’s is also party to several regional and international human rights treaties, and has accepted procedures for individual complaints but help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people realize unfortunately this has yet to g “unnatural carnal knowledge,” failure to equality. Retention of provisions prohibitin le of some politicians in and discrimination, and the ro proactively address violence BT Ghanaians to what can be described as inciting homophobia combine to relegate LG ments the enormous gap between the official second-class citizenship. This report docu nal fora regarding protection from violence, government position articulated in internatio ll victim to in their homes and communities. and the daily abuses that LGBT people fa ve initiatives from CHRAJ and from some Human Rights Watch found that despite positi individuals within the Ghana Police, the gove rnment is thus far failing to adequately protect LGBT persons from violence. Ghana to repeal section 104(1)(b) of the Human Rights Watch calls on the Parliament of Criminal Offences Act, which criminalizes consensual adult same -sex conduct. The with the UN Human Rights Council’s Ghanaian government should comply fully recommendations and adopt meas ures to monitor and report on hate speech and to rimination, intimidation and violence. Human protect LGBT persons from all forms of disc Rights Watch strongly urges the government of Ghana to effectively implement Resolution ople’s Rights, which requires all African 275 of the African Commission on Human and Pe states to take positive step s to end violence and discrimin ation on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Ghanaian auth orities should act swiftly to protect LGBT ate actors. In doing so, the r committed by state or non-st people from violence, whethe alogue with the LGBT organizations to better authorities should engage in a constructive di s on addressing the intersecting forms of understand its needs – with a particular focu xual women—and ensure that the necessary discrimination that affect lesbian and bise legislative and policy measures are taken to ensure their safety, dignity, and equality. 5 IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

15 Recommendations To the President Publicly condemn all threats and acts of • violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual ted by family members. and transgender people, in cluding violence perpetra ising public awareness of the harm of Adopt measures and take steps aimed at ra • the country, and the need to combat it. In particular, homophobia that prevails in hold accountable all public official s who make homophobic statements. Propose comprehensive legislation that • prohibits all forms of discrimination, including on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. • Invite the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Country nduct an official visit to engage in Rapporteur for the Republic of Ghana to co constructive dialogue with eholders on the progress the government and all stak and challenges to domestic implementation of the Afri can Charter on Human and al human rights treaties that Ghana has Peoples’ Rights, and other relevant region ratified. To Parliament • Offences Act that criminalizes adult Repeal sections 104(1(b) of the Criminal consensual same-sex conduct. on on Fundamental Human Rights and Amend Chapter 5 of the 1992 Constituti • ion of discrimination based on sexual Freedoms to include a specific prohibit orientation and gender identity. • Introduce legislative and policy measur es to prevent, protect, punish and n, gay, bisexual and transgender provide effective remedies for lesbia on the basis of their real or imputed individuals who are victims of violence ty and ensure enjoyment of their sexual orientation and gender identi lity and non-discrimination. constitutional rights to equa Follow-up effectively on the various recommendations from the human rights • ew and special procedures in order to treaty bodies, the universal periodic revi from violence an ensure improved protection d discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity , in particular the recommendations HO O ” AM I 6 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

16 ions adopted by the United Nations contained in the Concluding Observat Human Rights Committee in August 2016 pursuant to consideration of Ghana’s initial report to: Take necessary steps to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender o ation, intimidation and violence persons against all forms of discrimin Offences Act, 1960, to ensure and amend section 104 of the Criminal ng adults of the same sex are not that sexual relations between consenti considered a misdemeanor an d not punishable by law. ice: Ghana Police Services To the Inspector General of Pol • Undertake prompt, independent, and effe ctive investigations into allegations of acts of violence against LGBT people —whether in public spaces or in the home—always taking into account that such crimes may be motivated by hatred of their real or perceived sexu al orientation and gender identity. Ensure that police statio • ns provide a safe environment for LGBT persons to report cases of violence, including by establishing a human rights desk and a reporting hotline for cases of domestic violence. • Ensure all law enforcement officials fully comply with the Ghana Police Service ecuting their duties in respect of Standard Operating Procedures while ex , in particular, to identify and arrest providing services to LGBT victims of crime perpetrators. • ions on equality, human dignity and Ensure that police apply the provis their dealings with LGBT individuals. discrimination in the Constitution in all d Attorney-General’s Department To the Ministry of Justice an Issue clear directives to prosecutors an • d members of the judiciary to ensure LGBT people are effectively prosecuted that reported cases of violence against without delay and perpetrators punished in accordance with the law. Conduct capacity-building workshops for • court officials and related personnel ople into educational curricula to and integrate human rights of LGBT pe enhance officials’ understanding of consti tutional rights and sexual orientation and gender identity. 7 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

17 To the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice • In accordance with the mandate to prom ote human rights set out in relevant and Commission on Human Rights and provisions of the 1992 Constitution Administrative Justice Act 456, 1993, implement public education programs focusing on LGBTI rights. • Monitor, investigate and report on inci dents of hate speech and incitement identity in accordance with the based on sexual orientation and gender protection mandate. Effectively implement the actions adopte • d at the March 2017 workshop hosted by the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions in Nairobi, Kenya ientation, gender for staff of national human rights instit utions on sexual or identity and human rights, in particular: Conduct internal training on sexual o gender identity orientation and issues for all staff at regional and district levels. o Organize symposia and workshop s for police, non-governmental health practitioners and religious organizations, the judiciary, media, orientation and gender identity leaders on human rights and sexual issues. LGBT human rights organizations to Continue to actively engage with o scrimination complaints with the encourage LGBT persons to file di Commission. Launch a national public education campaign about rights protections, legal • lable for victims of violence and remedies, and social services avai to women's rights, sexual orientation, discrimination, particularly as they relate and gender identity. Human and Peoples’ Rights To the African Commission on Urge Ghana to submit its long-overdue report on the general human rights • situation in the country, including in formation relating to violence and ientation and gender identity. discrimination based on sexual or government’s compliance with regional Conduct a visit to Ghana to assess the • to engage in constructive dialogue with human rights treaties it has ratified and all stakeholders, including LGBTI individuals, on progress, obstacles, plans and measures adopted to ensure implementat ion of ACHPR Resolution 275 on the HO O ” AM I 8 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

18 man Rights Violations against Persons Protection against Violence and other Hu on the basis of their real or imputed Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity. To Donors ance to civil society organizations Increase financial and technical assist • sexual, and transgender people who have providing services to lesbian, gay, bi olence, and discrimination on the basis suffered violence, including domestic vi of their sexual orientatio n and gender identity. • Specifically, increase funding for comm unity organizing, advocacy, and direct services, including short and long-term shelters, legal aid, crisis hotlines, counseling, medical assistance, and job tr aining to lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender men. 9 IGHTS H UMAN J R W ATCH | 2018 ANUARY

19 Methodology This report is based on information collected during five weeks of field research in four cities in the Republic of Ghana from December 2016 to February 2017. 16, at the invitation of Solace Brothers From November 28, 2016 to December 2, 20 Foundation and Centre for Popular Educ ation Human Rights, Ghana (CEPEHRG), cial services to LGBT people in Ghana, organizations that provide legal and psychoso Human Rights Watch conducted a research scop ing mission in Ho, in the Volta region. A scoping mission is the first step in identifyin g the viability of a successful research project and provides an opportunity fo r partner organizations to give their consent. The scoping mission coincided with a five-day consultative meeting, which brought together 33 lesbian human rights abuses and develop concrete and gay activists to identify trends in strategies for responding to them. Human Ri ghts Watch also met with representatives of Human Rights and Administrative Justice the Ghana Police Service and the Commission on (CHRAJ), present at the consultative meeting. -depth research in Ghana to examine human In addition, Human Rights Watch conducted in assess the impact of section 104(1)(b) of the rights violations against LGBT people and to undation and CEPEHRG Solace Brothers Fo Criminal Code Act 29, 1960. Representatives of Watch interviewed 122 individuals in Accra, helped identify interviewees. Human Rights ties were chosen based on the presence of Tamale, Kumasi and Cape Coast. These four ci non-governmental organizations, community-bas ed activists, LGBT individuals known to also received reports of human rights these groups and other stakeholders. While we d research to confirm abuses in Takoradi and Koforidua, we were unable to conduct fiel these reports. who self-identify as LGBT—52 lesbians, 45 Human Rights Watch interviewed 114 Ghanaians gay men, 8 bisexual women, 4 transgende r men, 4 bisexual men and 1 transgender many countries, intersex peop woman. We are aware that in le experience human rights violations similar to those faced by LGBT peop le, as well as other violations specifically related to their sex characteristics, such as forced genital surgeries. However, we did not seek out interviews with intersex people for this report and did not encounter any openly HO O ” AM I 10 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

20 intersex people in the course of our research, so throughout this report we refer to “LGBT” people rather than “LGBTI” people. presentatives of human rights organizations Human Rights Watch also interviewed three re the Assistant Commissioner of Police, and three based in Accra, a representative of CHRAJ, diplomats in Accra. in Twi in Kumasi, Ga in Accra, Fante in Interviews were conducted primarily in English, Cape Coast and Dagbani in Tamale, with the assistance of translators fluent in those languages. All persons intervie wed provided verbal informed consent to participate and were assured that they could en d the interview at any time or decline to answer questions. reimbursed transport costs and the cost of a Participants were not compensated, but we ng distances from their homes to meet Human Rights Watch. meal to those who travelled lo and in some cases other identifying Interviewees have been given pseudonyms information has been withheld to protect their privacy and safety. Nations documents, urces, including United The report draws from relevant published so reports by other human rights organizations an d academic articles. All documents cited in on file with Human Rights Watch. this report are publicly available or On October 11, 2017, Human Rights Watch sent detailed letters outlining the findings presented in this report to the inspector general of police (see Annex 2) and Ghana minister of justice (see Annex 4) requesting the government’s response. On November 3, ded in writing (see Annex 3) confirming that 2017, the Inspector General of Police respon proactive steps and pragmatic approaches to “the [Ghana] Police Service will adopt more nerally”. Human Rights Watch also wrote to ensure the protection for LGBT individuals ge ative Justice (Annex 5) on October 11, 2017 the Commission of Human Rights and Administr of the report. The Mi nister of Justice and to present an advance and embargoed draft copy ative Justice have not responded to our the Commission of Human Rights and Administr letters at the time of writing. 11 IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

21 I. Background Ghana’s Constitution prohibits discrimin ation of all kinds. And therefore, of Human and Peoples’ Rights is the resolution of the African Commission e laws of Ghana will not permit any in conformity with our Constitution. Th xual orientation. d because of their se individual to be persecuted or assaulte nd session of the Human Rights Council, June 2016 - Ghana State Representative, 32 Attorney-General (2001-2003) and former In December 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2003 - 2007) was elected president of Ghana. Ghana is one of had peaceful transfer of power since 1990s, and the recent few African countries that has elections “further solidified Ghana’s credential s as a country determined to strengthen its 1 ability to live by the rule of law.” democratic institutions and enhance its Since President Akufo-Addo assumed office in January 2017, he has come under tremendous pressure from rnment’s position on homosexuality, but has numerous religious groups to declare his gove 2 not done so. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Gh ana guarantees a range of fundamental human 3 to all its citizens. rights and freedoms tees equality before the Article 17(1) and (2) guaran law and prohibits discrimination on grounds of “gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, 4 religion, creed or social or economic status.” orientation nor gender Neither sex, sexual identity are enumerated as prohibited gr ounds of discrimination. The Constitution on of personal liberty, and the right to guarantees respect for human dignity, protecti al and international ed all the major region privacy for all. Furthermore, Ghana has ratifi dividual complaints procedures under the human rights treaties and accepted the in on Civil and Political Rights and the inquiry Optional Protocol to the International Covenant 1 , December 15, 2016 John Mukum Mbaku, “Africa in Focus: The Ghanaian Elections: 2016,” Brookings ian-elections-2016/ (accessed July, 3 2017) du/blog/africa-in-focus/2016/12/15/the-ghana https://www.brookings.e 2 See for instance: “Akufo-Addo Under Pressure to Take a Stance on Homosexuality,” , https://yen.com.gh/91647-akufo- Yen html (accessed August 3, 2017) addo-pressure-a-stance-homosexuality. 3 “The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana,” undated, http://www.ghana.gov.gh/images/documents/constitution_ghana.pdf (accessed June 28, 2017) 4 t be discriminated aga ual before the law. (2) A person shall no Ibid Article 17(1) All persons shall be eq inst on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion . Creed or social or economic status. HO O ” AM I 12 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

22 the Elimination of All Forms of otocol to the Convention on procedure under the Optional pr 5 Discrimination against Women. ework, and commitment to regional and Ghana’s protective constitutional fram conservative religious a complex context of international human rights treaties operate in views frequently marshalled to justify cr consensual same-sex iminalization of adult conduct and, thus contributing to high leve ls of stigma, discrimination, family rejection and violence against LGBT people in Ghana. The Christian population, at 71.2 percent is the majority, followed by Muslims at 17.6 percent and traditionalists who 6 account for 5.2 percent of the population. ligious and cultural views fuel homophobic All interviewees noted that conservative re sentiments among the general population. Sa id, a Muslim man from Accra, told Human Rights Watch: the most dominant factors that fuel In Ghana, religion and culture are homophobia and stand in the way of progress. The law is quoted only in 7 on quotes the bible and the Quran. police stations; the general populati influence in Ghana and since the law does Religion, particularly Christianity, has strong strong anti-homosexuali ty religious beliefs not operate in a vacuum, the combination of and criminalization of consensual adult same-s ex conduct increase the vulnerability of LGBT people to violence in the home and in public spaces. ma produces severe consequences. For The combination of criminalization and stig ansgender man from Accra, said securing employment is instance, Sam, a 32-year-old tr re someone they perceive as woman who virtually impossible because “no one will hi 5 United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner , “Ratification Status for Ghana,” http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/Tre atyBodyExternal/Treaty.aspx?CountryID= 67&Lang=EN (accessed July 6, 2017) 6 Ghana Embassy , Undated, http ://www.ghanaembassy.org/index.php?page=language- “Language and Religion in Ghana,” and-religion 7 Human Rights Watch interview with Said, Accra, January 2017 13 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

23 8 According to Teresa, a 28-year-old lesbian, the issue of unemployment presents as a man. r problem. She told Human Rights Watch: because of one’s sexual orientation is a majo The problem in Accra is that LGBT pe ople can’t get work. Nobody wants to give them jobs. Also, when the family fi nds out, they don’t pay your school fees, so you are uneducated. There is also no support to learn a trade. When both lesbian partners don’t work, the femme partner is expected to y—sometimes they both must do sex date and sleep with men to get mone 9 work to survive. the fear of rapid social change, and the Moral panics around sexuality, compounded by rise of Pentecostalism in Ghana mean that lesb ian sexuality is perceived as a social threat, 10 picted in popular Ghanaian video-films. often associated with the occult, as de BT role models are unable to be open about A further impact of stigma is that potential LG their sexual orientation or gend er identity. Human Rights Watch interviewed a chief in Cape ecause of the stigma and fear, people hide Coast who identifies as MSM. He explained, “B want to damage the image of th their ‘true identity’ and do not eir families–especially if one 11 is a member of the royal family.” Approximately three years ago, his MSM identity was issue of concern before he was appointed raised by members of the royal family as an Chief, but since no one had any evidence and he had not been “caught in the act,” nobody challenged his appointment. Similarly, Benson, an Okomfo fies as a gay man told Human or fetish priest who identi sh priests informed the Chief of Elmina that Rights Watch that in February 2015, other feti rves as a mediator st is a person who se he is a homosexual. In Ghana, a fetish prie seek favors from the rituals to consult and between the spirits and the living, and performs 8 Human Rights Watch interview with Sam, Accra, January 2017 9 Human Rights Watch interview with Teresa, Accra, January 2017 10 80, Vol. 27 tral Affect and West Camera Obscura Lindsey Green-Simms “Occult Melodramas: Spec African Video-Film,” (2012): 2 pp 25-59. “While it is not always the case that st reet workers, gays and lesbians, or single businesswomen are out these figures expressed in associated with the occult, one often hears apprehensions ab such terms. The rise of buted not only to this sense of moral panic but also to a Pentecostalism in both Nigeria and Ghana has in fact contri family are linked to the devil or various spirits.” vocabulary in which threats to the monogamous heterosexual 11 Human Rights Watch interview with a chief, Cape Coast, February 2017 HO O ” AM I 14 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

24 12 The Chief responded that they should report the gods and provide spiritual guidance. matter to the police, but the other fetish pr iests did not have any evidence–he had never 13 been “caught in the act”–and they did not file a report with the police. Both the fetish ers of the community in Cape Coast. priest and Chief are highly respected memb Inciting Homophobic Violence y from February 2017, key opinion leaders On numerous occasions since 2010 and notabl including government officials, notably parliamentarians, lo cal officials and influential ntribute to a climate of homophobia and in religious leaders, have made remarks that co some cases, incite violence towards LGBT peop le. Religion is very often used to justify these statements. an public is not read Ghanaian officials have argued that the Ghanai y, because of strong ation of same-sex conduct or to guarantee religious beliefs, to accept the decriminaliz d gender identity in sexual orientation an equality and non-discrimination on the basis of de by some of these same officials feed the constitution. However, statements being ma t homosexuality and protection of the fundamental human into public sentiments agains rights of lesbian and gay people. In July 2011, Vibe Ghana, an online newspape r, reported that Paul Evans Aidoo, Western e immediate arrest of all homosexuals in the Region Minister at the time, called for th 14 region. According to the media report, during an interview with Joy News, Aidoo claimed igations and security agencies to “smoke out to have tasked the Bureau of National Invest persons suspected to be engaging in same sex” and further solicited the support of e information that would lead to arrests of homosexuals, landlords and tenants to provid 15 stating d of these people in the society.” all efforts are being made to get ri “ In March 2013 media the Paramount Chief of Tamale, reports surfaced claiming that ing that he would “support any move by Dakpema Naa Mahamadu Dawuni, issued a warn 12 Human Rights Watch interview with Benson, Cape Coast, February 2017 13 Human Rights Watch interview with a chief, Cape Coast, February 2017 14 July 19, 2011 http://vibeghana.com/2011/07/19/ghana- Vibe Ghana.com, To Arrest All Gays, “ “Ghana Police Ordered police-ordered-to-arrest-all-gays/ (accessed May 27, 2017) 15 Ibid. 15 IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

25 at will include lynching anyone suspected to the youth to cleanse the community even if th 16 be a homosexual or lesbian.’ Malik, a 22-year-old man, confirmed to Human Rights Watch annual celebration of the yam, which he was that the Chief issued this warning during the 17 attending. Chief said that gay people should be Malik told Human Rights Watch: “the was too tired of dealing with banished from Tamale, that he complaints from members of 18 the community about gay people.” primarily representing religious institutions outside of Influential opinion leaders, ic discourse. For instance, in February government are also responsible for homophob 2017, Osempaka Kaakyire Kifi, president of Movement for the Kingdom Image, a religious dent Akufo-Addo called on the government to “make the group, in a statement to Presi 19 defence of homosexuals a trea sonable offence” in Ghana. The Movement for the Kingdom Image which regularly comments on publ ic policy issues is a well-known group in 20 the country. The statement, published in the media report, adds: His Excellency the president of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has decline the legalisation of the act, all the powers either to accept or therefore, we are appealing to the president to see the need to enact harsh laws to deal recklessly with those outcasts who want legalisation of 21 homosexuality in Ghana. Also in February 2017, Moses Foh-Amoaning, re presentative of the National Coalition of 22 Proper Sexual Rights and Family Values and senior law lecturer at the Ghana School of 16 March 18, 2013 GhanaWeb, “Angry Tamale youth, chief threatens to lynch homosexuals,” https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Angry-Tamale-youth-chief-threaten-to-lynch-homosexuals- d February 17, 2017) 268039?channel=D1 (accesse 17 Human Rights Watch interview with Malik, Tamale, January 2017 18 Ibid 19 February 28, 2017 , GhanaWeb “Make defence of homosexuals treasonable – Government urged,” http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Make-defence-of-homosexuals-treasonable-Government-urged- 514297 (accessed May 27, 2017) 20 See for instance commentary issued after Ghana’s 2016 elections: Feature: Akufo-Addo’s government will perform poorly if he abandons God available at: http://www.ghanaclass.com/feature-akufo-addos-govt-will-perform-poorly-if-he-abandons- god/ 21 Ibid. 22 Facebook Page, “The National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values,” created December 18, 2013, https://www.facebook.com/pg/ncphsrfv/about/?ref=page_internal “The National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values is an amalgamated organization of Christian, Muslim and Traditional Rulers, Leaders and Institutions HO O ” AM I 16 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

26 cal treatment” for homosexuals in Ghana, Law in Accra, called for “proper psychologi ion which is solution based ll propose comprehensive legislat adding that the coalition “wi 23 to resolve this issue of gay and lesbians’ rights.” In a March 2017 radio interview, Osofo 24 Kofitse Ahadzi, a cultural anthropologist an d senior member of the Afrikania Mission, a reportedly called on gay people to “go and neo-traditional religious movement in Ghana, 25 hang themselves they should go and commit suicide and “If they can’t live normal lives, 26 out of tune with reality.” save our generation from getting extensive online media coverage. In an These commentators and opinion leaders get entative of the media explained the media’s interview with Human Rights Watch, a repres engagement with LGBT issues, noting that it is a difficult issue to navigate: For the past decade, the media has had difficulties in generating information about LGBT rights. The explanation is that LGBT persons are al orientation for fear of ostracism unwilling to openly declare their sexu and, in some cases, mob action. Occasionally, they have communicated 27 their concerns and asked to remain anonymous. th strong conservative navigate in a country wi While noting that LGBT rights are difficult to pires to build a more inclusive society, the views, he acknowledged that “as the country as 28 media may soon have to grapple with this sensitive issue.” The Ghanaian government should exercise leadership and publicly and consistently condemn violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals. the sole purpose of providing a focused and researched which was inaugurated on the 18th of December, 2013 with intellectual response to the growing menace (LGBT) Rights activities in the world.” of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender 23 , “ Homosexuals are ‘sick’ people who need psychiatric treatment – Foh-Amoaning,” Leticia Osei Ultimate FM Online, http://ultimatefmonline.com/2017/02/24/homosexuals-sick-people-need-psychiatric-treatment-foh- February 24, 2017, amoaning/ 24 “Afrikania Mission (Religious Moveme nt,” http://what-when-how.com/religious-movements/afrikania-mission-religious- movement/ (accessed September 18, 2017) 25 GhanaWeb , March 13, 2017, “Kill yourselves if you can’t be straight – Homosexuals told” http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Kill- yourselves-if-you-can-t-be-s traight-Homosexuals-told- 518288 (accessed August 10, 2017) 26 Ibid. 27 tative of the media, Accra, January 2017 Human Rights Watch interview with a represen 28 Ibid. 17 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

27 Family Rejection and Coerced Marriage Most of the women interviewed by Human Rights Watch said they were pressured by family ng men in order to maintain ties with their members into having children, dating and marryi chose to remain truthful to families and community. Many of th ose who refused to do so or their sexuality and gender id entity, encountered violence. they will have to marry a man because of Several lesbians told Human Rights Watch that family pressures. Khadija, a 24 -year-old lesbian who lives in Accra said she will soon have to start dating men because her family already arranged a marriage for her in 2015: Around May 2015, my parents were forc ing me to get married to a man from had found for me. I ran away from Nima, Nigeria, that my grandmother handbag and went to Takoradi and home—just left the house with my stayed in my place of work for two months. When I came back, they were lked into the house and my mother still wanting me to get married. I wa 29 started insulting me...calling me a prostitute. Khadija left home that day, contacted her partner and lived with her for a year, but remained in hiding even at her partner’s house because her partner’s family would not have approved of them living together. Khad ija and her partner stayed in separate rooms ija relied on her partner for financial support. She hid in of the family compound and Khad the house the entire time and was only able to freely move around the house when her partner’s family members were no t there. Khadija returned home after a year and did not n to her family. She told Human Rights Watch that while she disclose her sexual orientatio age, her family will eventually find another avoided the first efforts at an arranged marri ientation–“because all women in Ghana are man to marry–irrespective of her sexual or expected to marry.” Aisha, a 21-year-old lesbian English teacher from Kumasi was not only taken through a , but also rejected by her family when she process termed “deliverance” in a church camp refused to partake in a forced marriage. She described what her family and church did to her: 29 Human Rights Watch interview with Khadija, Accra, January 2017 HO O ” AM I 18 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

28 told my parents, grandparents and On January 24, 2015, my older brother all over social media. My mother cousins that I am a lesbian and it is iately took me to church for collapsed, and my grandparents immed mission house of the church for one “deliverance”. I had to stay at the month. During the first week they prayed for me. While praying, the junior 30 pastor would beat me with the “holy” cane to deliver me from the evil spirit. ter, her parents took her home and wanted Aisha told Human Rights Watch that a month la tervened, her parents said she could stay in to force her to get married. When her uncle in the house but that they did not want to have anything to do with her, and she should not touch or use anything belonging to the family. She said: “Until today, I have my own plate, spoon, cup and I cook in the neighbor’s house. If I am not at home by 8p.m., I must sleep 31 outside or at a friend’s place.” Human Rights Watch interviewed nine gay me Tamale, northern n and six lesbians in r disclose their sexual orientation to family Ghana, all of whom said that they will neve members, and that when family members have asked, they deny their sexual orientation by the family and the community. Despite being out fear of being disowned and ostracized aware and fully accepting of thei r own sexual orientations, they said they would eventually marry persons of the other sex because that is what is expected by their families. tant pressure from family members to get Rose, a 33-year old lesbian, is under cons 32 married and have a child, while living in fear of being exposed as a lesbian. She told me money so I can leave Ghana, I will go Human Rights Watch: “My plan is to make so somewhere else–anywhere else so that I can just be who I am and not hide all the time.” e was in a relationship with a woman they When 25-year-old Hasina’s parents found out sh accepted 1,800 CEDIS (approximately US$409) from a 49-year old man who wanted to 33 marry her. man Rights Watch, Hasina had left her At the time of the interview with Hu home in Kumasi to avoid the marriage. th Aisha, Kumasi, January 2017 30 Human Rights Watch interview wi 31 Ibid. 32 Human Rights Watch interview with Rose, Tamale, January 2017 33 Human Rights Watch interview with Hasina, Kumasi, January 2017 n0 19 IGHTS H ANUARY UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

29 Although pressure to marry primarily affect s lesbian and bisexual women, some gay and has a female partner 22-year-old gay man who bisexual men face similar issues. Isaac, a u have a girlfriend it this place, but if yo said: “If you are a feminine man, they insult you in girlfriend doesn’t know I am ‘like that’ and I will have no shields you from the insults...my 34 my religion you can’t avoid getting married.” choice but to marry her one day because in ts Watch how a group of boys came to his Malik, a 22-year-old gay man told Human Righ 35 home and told his family they suspected he was gay. Malik denied everything and moved out of the family home but in June 2016 he felt compelled to marry a young woman from a nearby village due to pre ssure from his family. Ghana’s Domestic Violence Act, No. 732 from 2007, provides that victims of domestic if the subject of a protection order violates a violence can obtain protection orders and that ecuted. A family relationship is included final court protection order they can be pros within the meaning of a domestic relationship for the purposes of the Act. “physical abuse...including the forcible Section 1 defines domestic violence as confinement or detention of another person...sub jecting another person to torture or other punishment; economic abuse, including the cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or ivation of economic or financial resources...and emotional, deprivation or threatened depr ntext of a previous or existing domestic verbal or psychological abuse” within the co found guilty of domestic of the Act, a person who is relationship. Under section 3(2) ce for no more than two years or both. The violence may receive a fine or a prison senten Act also allows police in certain circumstance s to arrest a person on grounds of domestic violence without a warrant. In July 2016, the government published a study titled Domestic Violence in Ghana: 36 . Incidence, Attitudes, Determinants and Consequences The study, commissioned by the ection in Ghana and the UK Department for Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Prot 34 Human Rights Watch interview with Isaac, Tamale, January 2017 35 Human Rights Watch interview wi th Malik, Tamale, January 2017 36 Determinants and Consequences,” Republic of Ghana, “Domestic Violence in Ghana: Incidence, Attitudes, July 2016 http://www.statsghana.gov.gh/docfiles/publications/DV_Ghana_Report_FINAL.pdf HO O ” AM I 20 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

30 rovides an in-depth understanding of the incidence, International Development “p mestic violence in Ghana, as well as attitudes, causes and consequences of do institutional support offered to women and investigating the effectiveness of existing men.” The study makes brief refe rence to the possibility that “gay men/women” might be but does not include any data victims of domestic violence, or analysis on incidents of domestic violence perpetrated against sexual and gender minorities in the context of family relationships. Lesbian, bisexual and gender non-conforming women who told Human Rights Watch about their experiences of domestic violence said that they had never disclosing their sexual orientation. reported to the police, for fear of 21 ANUARY H UMAN 2018 IGHTS J | ATCH W R

31 II. The Criminal Code, and Calls to Amend It Ghana is one of several dozen former Britis h colonies that inherited Victorian laws 37 “unnatural offenses.” prohibiting so-called Under section 104(1)(b) of the Criminal s unnatural carnal knowledge...of a person Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), “whoever ha 38 Unnatural carnal sixteen years or older, with his co nsent, is guilty of a misdemeanor.” knowledge is defined in section 104(1)(2) as “sexual intercourse with a person in an 39 unnatural manner or with an animal.” or anal sex between a man and a woman, as In principle, this offense could apply to oral tution Review Commission has recognized as well as to sex between men. Ghana’s Consti much, stating that “Unnatural carnal knowle dge is defined at common law to involve penile penetration of anything other than a va gina,” adding: “...the law only anticipates the situation where a man has unnatural carnal knowledge of a woman or another man, but does not envisage the situation where a woman engages in unnatural carnal knowledge of 40 another woman.” Human Rights Watch that “the term Jones Blantari, Assistant Commissioner of Police, told not have any clear meaning in law, creates unnatural carnal knowledge is vague, does 41 s application is used to target LGBT people.” difficulties in consistent interpretation and it In certain instances, the law has been used to arrest individuals suspected of being lesbian or gay. The UN Human Rights Committee has expressed concern to the government 37 December 17, 2008, Human Rights Watch, This Alien Legacy: The Origins of “Sodomy” in British Colonialism https://www.hrw.org/report/2008/12/17/alien-leg acy/origins-sodomy-laws-british-colonialism 38 Section 104(1)(a) of the same Act provides: “Whoever has unnatural carnal knowledge of any person of the age of sixteen r liable on conviction to imprisonment fo ee felony and shall be years or over without his consent shall be guilty of a first-degr a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty-five years.” The essential difference between the two sub- rposes of this report, the only provisions of concern are secti on provisions of section 104 relates to lack of consent. For the pu 104(1)(b) and 104(2). Human Rights Watch su pports the effective implementation of laws that criminalize all forms of sexual violence or assault. 39 ” undated, http://www.wipo.int/edo “Criminal Code, 1960 (ACT 29), cs/lexdocs/laws/en/gh/gh010en.pdf 40 Republic of Ghana, , From a Political to a Developmental Constitution Report of the Constitution Review Commission: files/crc_research_report.pdf (accessed August 3, itutionnet.org/sites/default/ December 2011, p. 654 http://www.const 2017) 41 , Assistant Commissioner of Police, Accra, January 2017 Jones Blantari Human Rights Watch interview with HO O ” AM I 22 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

32 al activity falls within the definition of about the official position that “same-sex sexu 42 unnatural carnal knowledge” and is a punishable misdemeanor. In August 2011, Ghana’s then-Attorney General, Minister Martin A.B.K Amidu, was reported rced in cases involving rape. that section 104 was only enfo to have told a press conference He also denied that the law would pu rsue what people did in private: you do, your house is your castle, The law does not follow you to see what your room is your castle, what you do there is nobody’s business. It is only unnatural carnal knowledge that you when you rape an adult by way of 43 become a subject of prosecution. s acknowledging an official policy of non- It may be that the then-Attorney General wa d at least be consistent with the right to enforcement of parts of section 104, which woul 44 privacy protected under Article 18(2) of the Constitution. Indeed, Human Rights Watch did ve been charged with not identify any cases in which individuals ha conduct heterosexual ts Watch that the government has to date under the law. Interviewees told Human Righ the rationale for keeping such a law on the books, when it has failed to convincingly justify a policy of non-enforcement. Ghana has had vigorous debate about the ro le of the law about consensual same-sex sexual conduct. The work of the 2010 Cons titution Review Commission (the Commission) nstitution to better protect LGBT people, as touched on the possibility of amending the Co described in further detail be ly declined to take a stand low, but the Commission ultimate m’s threatened to redirect a small amount of on the issue. In 2011, when the United Kingdo 42 Supra n(3) para 43 : “The Committee is concerned about reports that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons are impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of such acts. subjected to discrimination, intimidation and harassment and about the The Committee notes with concern the explanation provided by the State party that same-sex sexual activity falls within the definition of unnatural carnal knowledge, under section 104 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, and is considered a misdemeanor if it is between two consenting adults”. 43 August 30, 2011 “Homosexuality is Not Illegal – Attorney-General,” GhanaWeb, https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Homosexuality-Is-Not-Illegal-Attorney-General-217527 (accessed August 3, 2017) 44 es: “No person shall be subjected to interference with the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana section 18(2) provid privacy of his home, property, correspondence or communication except in accordance with law and as may be necessary in a free and democratic society for public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the protection of health or the protection of the rights morals, for the prevention of disorder or crime or for or freedoms of others.” 23 IGHTS H UMAN ANUARY R W ATCH | J 2018

33 ies did not protect the rights of lesbians and direct general aid to other programs if countr stated that he would neither initiate nor gay men, the then-president, John Atta Mills, 45 support any attempt to “legal ize homosexuality” in Ghana. ral appeals from the United Nations human The Ghanaian government has rejected seve carnal knowledge”. In criminalizing “unnatural rights system to repeal section 104(1)(b), October 2012, during the Universal Periodic in which countries’ Review (UPR) process, 46 human rights records are evaluated by the UN Human Rights Council , the Ghanaian delegate explained: With regard to the recommendations on decriminalization of same sex relations between consenting adults, I wish to reiterate that Ghana does not have a policy of non-equal treatm ent of its citizens and any acts of violence perpetrated against any manner of persons in Ghana is [ ] sic investigated and appropriately deal t with...the Constitution of Ghana ples of non-discrimination and entrenches the fundamental princi equality...Unless and until an issue, be it social, religious, economic or e moral consciousness of the citizenry political is sufficiently advanced in th on Parliament to and an unequivocal demand is made address the issue mpt to bypass the true wishes of the through effective legislation, any atte 47 people will be counter-productive. lated a similar position: “I John Dramani Mahama, articu In October 2013, then-President believe that laws must prevail. For instance, pe ople must not be beaten or killed because of 48 ere is a strong cultural hostility towards it.” their sexual orientation, but in my country, th 45 November 2, 2011 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa- “Ghana refuses to grant gays' rights despite aid threat” BBC, 15558769 (accessed April 15, 2017) 46 United Nations Human Rights Of “United Nations Human Rights Council,” , undated, fice of the High Commissioner http://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/hrc/pages/hrcindex.aspx (acc essed October 25, 2017); “The Human Rights Council is an made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and inter-governmental body within the United Nations system protection of all human rights around the globe.” 47 “Statement at the Consideration of the Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of Ghana, 22nd Session of the Human Rights Council, 14 March 2013,” Ghana’s UPR held on October 23, 2012, https://www.upr- info.org/sites/default/files/document/ghana/session_14_-_october_2012/ghanaplenarystatement2013.pdf 48 “President of Ghana visits KSU,” Marietta Daily Journal, October 1, 2013, http://www.mdjonline.com/news/president-of- ghana-visits-ksu/article_c29067ef-56cd-5372-a27d-a0c7c73ac3e9.html (accessed April 23, 2017) HO O ” AM I 24 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

34 on the appointment of a United Nations In June 2016, Ghana abstained from a vote ion based on sexual olence and discriminat Independent Expert on protection against vi 49 orientation and gender identity. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for gate justified its position thus: Human Rights (OHCHR), the Ghanaian dele any individual to be persecuted The laws of Ghana would not permit because of their sexual orientation. s culturally very However, the matter wa ose who were naturally inclined to sensitive in Ghana. Ghana supported th t it did not accept the propagation or have a different sexual orientation, bu 50 It would therefore abstain. commercialization of it. an authorities are willing to take proactive But there is little indication that the Ghanai als from violence and ensure the prosecution of anyone who steps to protect LGBT individu phobia. Recent statements by political does commit hate crimes motivated by homo leaders are a cause for concern. The Spea ker of Parliament, Mike Ocquaye, called 51 ” in a February 2017 speech, homosexuality an “abomination and stated that Parliament 52 its laws against homosexuality.” would “do its best to strengthen Following a meeting r reiterated his position, warning that Ghana with Amnesty International in July, the speake 53 would not tolerate pressure from external forces to accept homosexuality. Dr. Akwasi al Health Authority (MHA), immediately Osei, Chief Executive Officer for the Ment o interview, calling for the adoption of laws that further commended the speaker in a radi 49 ientation and gender identity,” “Independent Expert on sexual or United nations Human Rights Office of the High undated, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/SexualOrien tationGender/Pages/Index.aspx; Note that at the Commissioner, Human Rights Council, Ghana abstained from the vote, but voted against the appointment at the General Assembly. 50 “Council establishes mandate on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner , Undated, es/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20220 http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pag 51 e Calls For Ghana To Criminalise Homosexuality,” February YouTube, “NEWS BREAK: Speaker Of Parliament Mike Ocquay 23, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b February 27, 2017) tPcEsStQn8 (accessed 52 See: “Same sex marriage is abomination in Ghana – Speaker,” Kasapa FM Online, February 20, 2017, : http://kasapafmonline.com/2017/02/20/sex-marriage-abominat ion-ghana-speaker/, “The Speaker made this remark ational, Apostle General Sam Korankye Monday, February, 20, 2017, when the Fo under of the Royal House Chapel Intern him to solicit the support of Parliament to help sanitize Ankrah and the leadership of his church, paid a courtesy call on religion in the country”; See also: Isaac Kaledzi, “Ghana’s Parliament Speaker Wants ‘Complete’ Ban On Homosexuality,” February 20, 2017, http://africafeeds.com/2017/02/20/ghanas-parliament-speaker-wants-complete-ban- Africafeeds, homosexuality/; See also: Kaboina Wlsing, “Amend Ghana’s laws to ban homosexuality – Oquaye,” Starr FM Online, February 20, 2017, http://starrfmonline.com/2017/0 2/20/amend-ghanas-laws-ban-homosexuality-oquaye/ 53 rights noise—Ghana’s speaker of parliament,” Citifmonline, “Africans getting fed up with gay Africa News , http://www.africanews.com/2017/07/12/africans-getting-fed-up-with-gay-rights-noise-ghana-s-speaker-of-parliament/ 25 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

35 54 office in 2017, does not criminalize homosexuality. President Akufo-Addo, who took appear to have publicly articulated his go vernment’s position on homosexuality, and irm what the president’s position is. Human Rights Watch was not able to conf The Constitution Review Commission 55 Ghana’s 1992 Constitution guarantees fund amental human rights to all its citizens. discrimination on grounds of Article 17 guarantees equality before the law and prohibits 56 “gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.” Sexual enumerated as prohibited grounds of orientation and gender identity are not e Constitution does not include “sex” as a discrimination. Furthermore, Article 17 of th protected ground of non-discrimination. Howe ver, the Constitution ensures respect for and the right to privacy for all – including for human dignity, protection of personal liberty, 57 LGBT people. In 2010, the government established a Cons titution Review Commission (Commission), a consultation process on the 1992 Inquiry, to engage in a public Presidential Commission of 58 Constitution and to propose amendments. In December 2011, the Commission presented its report and recommendations to then President John Evans Atta Mills, after reviewing a 54 “Parliament Must Pass Laws to Further Criminalize Homosexuality – Dr. Akwasi Osei,” Peace FM Online, July 12, 2017, http://www.peacefmonline.com/pages/local/social/201707/320184.php 55 “Constitution of the Republic of Ghana,” Undated, Government of Ghana, http://www.ghana.gov.gh/images/documents/constitution_ghana.pdf , Section 12, Chapter 5 56 Ibid section 17: Equality and Freedom from Discrimination. Sect ion 17(3): For the purposes of this article, “discriminate” means to give different treatment to different persons attributab le only or mainly to their re spective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, gender, occupation , religion or creed, whereby persons of one description are ion are not made subject or are granted subjected to disabilities or restrictio ns to which persons of another descript privileges or advantages which are not granted to persons of another description. 57 le, section 14(1) - Every person shall be entitled to his perso nal Ibid section 15(1) The dignity of all persons shall be inviolab rdance with procedure permitted by law, of his personal liberty except [in acco liberty and no person shall be deprived ce with the privacy of his home, property, correspondence or section 18(2) - (2) No person shall be subjected to interferen communication except in accordance with law and as may be necessary in a free and democratic society for public safety or the protection of health or morals, for the prevention of disorder or crime or for the economic well-being of the country, for ts or freedoms of others. the protection of the righ 58 velopmental Constitution. From a Political to a De Report of the Constitution Review Commission: Republic of Ghana, HO O ” AM I 26 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

36 59 The Commission was dissolved in bmissions from the public. total of 83,161 formal su 60 August 2012. rimination,” the Commission addressed two Under the sub-theme “equality and non-disc issues: whether or not sexual orientation should be enumerated as one of the grounds for non-discrimination, and the extent to which the Constitution should recognize the rights of 61 lesbians and gay men in Ghana. overwhelming number of The Commission received an submissions advocating for the continued ex clusion from the Constitution of sex and d to “ensure that it is not sexual orientation as protected grounds against discrimination an 62 interpreted to recognise homosexuality in Ghana.” Noting that the inclusion of both “sex” and “gender” in the anti-discrimination cl ause of the Constitution “would add to the that the Constitution abhors discrimination on the grounds legal arsenal of those who argue of sexual orientation” the Commission found that “gender” served a specific purpose: “to 63 ensure the recognition of the natural/biological state of a woman and a man.” of the Criminal Offences Act Numerous submissions also ar gued that section 104(1)(b) carnal knowledge means having sex via the outlaws same-sex conduct because “natural vagina and therefore having sex by any other means amounts to unnatural carnal 64 knowledge, even if it is with one‘s spouse.” In its final report the Commission of same-sex sexual t to decide the legality recommended that it be left to the Supreme Cour relations if the matter came before it, becaus e the court could consid er all arguments in favour of and against decriminalization and in terpret the provisions of the Constitution. e of the Commission’s report, former Justice In March 2012, three months after the releas mosexuality is not a t to declare that ho Yaonansu Kpegah, petitioned the Supreme Cour 59 rtain from the people of Ghana, their views on the operation Ibid The terms of reference of the Commission are to: a. asce and, in particular, the strengths and weaknesses of the Constitution; b. articulate of the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution the concerns of the people of Ghana on amendments that may be required for a comprehensive review of the 1992 Constitution; and c. Make recommendations to the Governme nt for consideration and provide a draft Bill for possible amendments to the 1992 Constitution. 60 Modern Ghana, “Constitution Review Commission Dissolved,” August 15, 2012, ion-review-commission-dissolved.html (accessed September 17, hana.com/news/411605/constitut https://www.moderng 2017) 61 Ibid para 110 & 117 62 and non-discrimination Ibid para 112 – Equality 63 Ibid para 113 64 Ibid para 121 27 IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

37 n should not be included in the anti- human rights issue and sexual orientatio 65 discrimination clause. According to Ghanaian media, Kp egah further requested the Court w, which is an integral part of the laws of to “declare that under the country's customary la omination and, 'indeed, a taboo and are Ghana, acts of homosexuality are an ab 66 way of life in any decent society'. unacceptable as a natural and normal The court 67 adjourned the matter indefinitely, without providing reasons. No further action was taken on the recomme ndation of the Commission and the Supreme Court has yet to issue any decision on the ma vists interviewed by tter. Several LGBT acti Human Rights Watch expressed the view that the best approach to reforming section approach the courts and seek a declaratory 104(1)(b) would be for human rights lawyers to order of unconstitutionality. in Accra explained to Human Rights Watch: Albert, a co-founder of an LGBT organization e government what the outcome of the repeal will We need to explain to th mosexuality or targeting children or be. That it is not about promoting ho is none of these things—it is about advocating for same-sex marriage. It ent of rights by LGBT individuals in removing the barriers to the full enjoym 68 Ghana. (b) of the Criminal Offences provisions under section 104(1) Retention of the discriminatory s that are also reflected in the Ghanaian Act is at odds with core human rights norm dignity and rights to equality and non- Constitution, including respect for human discrimination. In interviews with Huma n Rights Watch, LGBT individuals and , irrespective of the path representatives of human rights organizations emphasized that tion or a parliamentary process, they are selected for law reform, whether through litiga of their constitutional rights. merely advocating for protection 65 stant Commissioner of Police, and three representatives of Human Rights Watch interviews with Jones Blantari, Assi zations, Accra, January 2017. different non-governmental organi 66 Modern Ghana, “Justice Kpegah wants Supreme Court declaration on homosexuals,” March 29, 2012, pegah-wants-supreme-court-declaration-on-.html https://www.modernghana.com/news/386138/justice-k 67 Ibid. 68 Human Rights Watch interview with Albert, Accra, February 2017 HO O ” AM I 28 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

38 III. Abuses against LGBT People According to the data from the state ag ency, the Commission on Human Rights and discrimination cases filed with CHRAJ since Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), 36 of the 75 69 August 2013, were fi led by LGBT people. In 2015, Men Who Have Sex with Men Global Forum (MSMGF), in collaboration with The Centre for Popular Education and Advocacy , Ghana, (CEPEHRG) conducted a survey 70 documenting human rights abuses against sexual and gender minorities in Ghana. Fifty at least one occasion they had been victims of of the survey participants reported that on abuse and discrimination based on sexual orie ntation. The kinds of incidents included causing the victim to flee for security harassment or intimidation in the community, and livelihood; sexual assault and abuse, reasons and losing access to their home ; and denial of protection by the police, resulting in physical and psychological harm als who file complaints have been subjected including certain cases in which LGBT individu to extortion and arbitrarily arre sted. A collective of human rights organizations submitted a l Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights shadow report in 2016 for Ghana’s Universa 71 Council that reinforced these findings. that LGBT people are often victims of mob Human Rights Watch’s research corroborates attacks, physical assault, sexual assault, ex tortion, discrimination in access to housing, education and employment, and family rejection on the grounds of their sexual orientation which homophobic views abound, and few are or gender identity. In an environment in defense of LGBT people, it is easy for violence to flourish. willing to publicly come to the 69 Data available on file with Human Rights Watch 70 Abuses in Ghana: A 2015 Community Led Documentation CEPEHRG & MSMGF, Documentation of LGBTIQ Human Rights th Human Rights Watch Project–Report on file wi 71 “Human Rights Violations Against Lesbia n, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Intersex and Queer People in Ghana: a Shadow th Report, Submitted for Consideration at the 117 mmittee, Geneva, June-July 2016,” Solace Session of the Human Rights Co Brothers Foundation, The Initiative for Equa estern Pritzker School of ional Human Rights of Northw l Rights, Center for Internat Rights Global Initiatives for Human Rights Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human and , May 2016, Law, 0Documents/GHA/INT_CCPR_CSS_GHA_24149_E.pdf http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%2 29 IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

39 Numerous human rights advocates told Human Rights Watch they believe the law against ted to the commission of these abuses. “unnatural carnal knowledge” has contribu Furthermore, they stated that the law acts as an impediment to access to justice, deterring ss and contributing to a culture of impunity. many LGBT victims of crime from seeking redre men in Ghana often Violence against lesbian, bisexual and ge nder-non-conforming wo takes place in the privacy of their own ho mes. Numerous lesbian and bisexual women interviewees told Human Rights Watch that when their family members suspected that they were homosexual, they were beaten and evicted from the family home. Ghana’s comprehensive law on domestic violence ough t to protect women from family violence, but used against them, combined with social a fear that the Criminal Offences Act could be stigma, serves as a barrier to seeking access to justice. Arrests Human Rights Watch is not aware of any pr osecutions under section 104(1)(b) of the Criminal Code. Neverthele ary arrests of to conduct arbitr ss, police sometimes use the law as a way to extort money from them. Such individuals suspected to be homosexual, and verse consequences in victims’ lives. abuses in turn lead to a chain of ad a soccer training camp in Kumasi accused of In June 2016, police arrested three women at being lesbians allegedly after being tipped off by the partner of one of the women. Adama told Human Rights Watch: The camp master asked the police why we were being arrested. The police were handcuffed, put in a police van said it is because we are lesbians. We and taken to Suame Police Station. Mo re than 100 people had gathered at the camp to watch the scene, some pe ople even followed the van to the police station. At the police station they asked us if we were “into it,” yelling 72 and shouting at us. We denied ever ything, and the police released us. end with their release. When th However, their troubles did not ey returned to the training they returned home, the team, and when camp, the coach expelled the three women from 72 Human Rights Watch interview with Adama, Kumasi, January 2017 HO O ” AM I 30 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

40 e” to their respective families. Six months their parents disowned them for “bringing sham conditions: “We move fr later, they described their desperate living om one friend’s place to another because we can never go back home. We have no work, no money and 73 three days,” one of them said. sometimes we do not eat for two or om the Cape Coast, told Human Rights Watch that not only Victoria, a 29-year old lesbian fr did her father disown her when he learned of her sexual orientation in July 2016, but he 74 also reported her to the police, who arrested her. Fortunately for Victoria, her grandmother paid bail to facilitate her rele ase. She was not formally charged with any offence, but instructed to report to the police reported to the police station daily. Victoria reporting at the time of the interview with station approximately five times, but was not Human Rights Watch. Emelia, a 35-year-old lesbian from Kumasi, told Human Rights Watch that in December ficers to her home to arrest her and her 2014, her partner’s mother brought police of 75 partner. any offence, but spent three days in They were not formally charged with detention at Suame Police Station, and were released after paying 200 CEDIS (approximately US$45). they are either threatened with arrest or In some cases, when LGBT people report crimes, are in fact arrested, even though they are the t. Brian, a 28-year old victim of assault or thef man from Takoradi, told Human Rights Watch: lebration attended ving a birthday ce On August 20, 2016, my friend was ha He is also a baker, so he had four- by more than 50 people in Tanokrom. layer cake. About 20 to 25 area boys invaded the party, saw the cake and arted beating people and also stole assumed it was a gay wedding. They st ely reported the My friend immediat our phones and other valuable items. rket Circle Police Station. But the incident to the police at Takoradi Ma m instead. They also wanted him to police turned around and arrested hi 73 Ibid 74 Human Rights Watch interview with Vi ctoria, Cape Coast, February 2017 75 Emelia, Kumasi, January 2017 Human Rights Watch interview with 31 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

41 disclose the names of all the people who were at the party. My friend had to 76 pay 300 CEDIS (approximately US$68) bribe to be released. arrested provided the police with names and According to Brian, his friend who had been thereafter the police rounded up about 15 men for allegedly attending a gay wedding, but he is aware, the assault and theft cases that later released them without charge. As far as investigated by the police. his friend had reported were not in December 2016, in Cape Coast, a stranger harassed and 26-year-old Alexander said that insulted him in the street because of his presumed sexual orientation and they had a 77 physical fight. Alexander told Human Rights Watch th at the next morning, the same man came to his home with a police officer, wh o arrested him, took him to Bakaano Police 78 Station and informed him that he would be charged for “sleeping with other boys.” proximately 5p.m., afte r he had called his Alexander was released on the same day at ap 79 ened on his behalf. Assemblyman, who interv e Chief of Tamale called upon youth to carry Ibrahim told Human Rights Watch that after th out mob justice against gay people in 2013: My friend was taken to the chief’s pa lace because the youth boys said he was gay. There were many people gathered at the palace, shouting that he should be beaten and killed because he was bringing shame to Tamale. The the police station. His uncle bailed chief told the youth boys to take him to him out and he immediately moved to A ccra because he was afraid of what 80 the youth boys might do to him. 76 Human Rights Watch interview with Brian, Cape Coast, February 2017 77 Human Rights Watch interview with Alexander, Cape Coast, February 2017 78 Ibid. 79 For information on Assemblies at District Level in Ghana see: republic/district_assemblies.php https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/ 80 n Rights Watch was not able to interview Ibrahim’s friend Human Rights Watch interview, Tamale, January 2009. Huma directly because he had left Tamale, supposedly “gone underg round” and none of the activists could provide his contact details. HO O ” AM I 32 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

42 Physical Violence ses involving severe physical abuse of Human Rights Watch documented numerous ca or the public meted out the abuse but in LGBT individuals. In general family members scribed below, it was with the explicit some cases, such as the case of Pearl de other state officials. Violence against women involvement or acquiescence of the police or y transgressing patriarc suspected of being lesbian or bisexual, thereb hal expectations of women’s roles in the family and society, is mo re frequent than family violence against gay 81 men. bisexual women has often gotten little Family violence against lesbian and attention because it tends to ha ppen behind closed doors. The vast majority of victims did not report th e abuse to the police, explaining that stigma, s of certain members of the police force, fear of exposure and arrest, and the attitude ing so. Human Rights Watch found that criminalization of same-sex deterred them from do for crimes committed against tly to a climate of impunity conduct contributed significan LGBT people, including physical and sexual violence. One of the most severe instances of viol ence documented by Human Rights Watch ly led to a near-lynching in Asankrangwa, involved a government official and ultimate western Ghana. The victim, Pearl, is a 30-y ear-old woman and respected activist in the 82 LGBT movement in Ghana. shelter to lesbian, bisexual Pearl has for many years provided and gay people evicted and disowned by th eir family members in Kumasi, a deeply important and personal undertaking for Pearl, because of what she has suffered as a result of her sexual orientation. and a senior police officer, in the city of In September 2009, a senior government official 83 Asankrangwa physically, including sexually, assaulted Pearl. Pearl had applied for a vacancy in a government agency and the DCE was the hiring manager. He wanted a local person, not Pearl, to have the a meeting at his home, together position so he called her for d her about her sexual orientation, with the police official, but interrogate 81 Human Rights Watch interviews in Accra, Kuma si and Cape Coast, January and February 2017 th Pearl, Kumasi, January 2017 82 Human Rights Watch interview wi 83 District Chief Executive is the political head of the district at local government level appointed in terms of section 242 a nd 243 of the Ghana Constitution. 33 IGHTS H ANUARY UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

43 According to Pearl: The driver dropped me off at the DCE’s house for the meeting. [The DCE] asked me many personal questions about my private life, about a young woman that I was dating and about my mother. He was insisting that I am a ed the [police official] to come and lesbian, but I denied it. Then he call question me. Pearl realized the conversation was being recorded and when she asked why, she said, the police official slapped her. Then, the DCE threatened her with rape: be I should insert my penis in her The [district official] then said: “May vagina and that will make her talk.” I started crying, I was shaking. I realized he had an erection...and I was just crying. They told me I had three days to leave the town and never return and that I should write a letter and I don’t want any money from the saying that I don’t want the position company. I didn’t reply. I just went home. men she believes were sent by the district Early the next morning, Pearl said, 12 young official, came to her home: “They stripped me naked, and one of the boys had me pinned k if I have a penis,” she told Human Rights down on the floor and opened my legs to chec Watch. Despite the trauma of the assault and bruises she had sustained, Pearl had to go to work. While at work, she received a telephone call to attend a meeting at the municipal office. She described what happened: At around 11:30[a.m.] the [district offi cial] called to say I am needed at the media men, youth, chiefs, police, municipal office. When I arrived, e municipal office. The youth wanted teachers–everybody–all gathered at th told them I must answer questions to beat me up immediately but the DCE om and made to sit in the middle of first. I was taken to a conference ro about 50 people. They asked me if I am a lesbian, and I said no. The police officer kicked me with his boot in my mouth–said I shouldn’t talk–I started HO O ” AM I 34 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

44 bleeding. Then everybody started to beat me. They dragged me outside while beating me at the same t ime. They also took 1600 CEDIS my pocket. In the square, they put a (approximately US$365) that I had in car tire around my neck and poured petrol over my body and were ready to burn me. There was a pastor in the crow d, and he said I should confess to n were recording everything on their everything before I die. The media me phones for radio stations and members of the public were phoning in. One man took a machete from another guy, he hit me on the head with the blunt end of the machete–then turned it ar ound and slashed the top of the tire– 84 his goal was to cut me. Pearl told Human Rights Watch that she was no t set on fire because her father arrived at the scene and managed to convince the crow mising to have her d to let her go, pro “cleansed of the evil spirit” and expelled from the town. Human Rights Watch interviewed Pearl’s father and a young man she knew when she lived in Asankrangwa. On the afternoon of the brutal assault, his manager called Pearl’s father ived a telephone call from a youth leader in to his office and told him that he had rece to that town because his daughter was in Asankrangwa and that he should immediately go trouble. He told Human Rights Watch, “when I arrived at the town, I found a huge gathering of seriously angry people around my daughter; they were carrying clubs and clearly wanted ding and weeping.” Pearl’s father described to deal with her seriously and she was blee how he pleaded with the crowd to release his daughter and promised that he would remove her from the town immediately. He said , “It is very unfortunate that my daughter had to go through all of that trouble, but she had to leave the town because it was not safe 85 for her to be there.” Pearl’s father took her home to Tarkwa, where he kept her in isolation in a storage room for ss to bathroom facilities. Eventually, after about six days, with one meal a day and no acce consulting family members and fr iends, he evicted her from the family home and disowned her for bringing shame to the family. She never filed a complaint with the police. 84 th Pearl, Kumasi, January 2017 Human Rights Watch interview wi 85 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Pearl’s Father, October 7, 2017 35 IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

45 To understand the events leading to Pearl’s public assault, Human Rights Watch interviewed Michael, a young man who knew Pearl at that time, and he described the situation: became friends. We would hang out She came to that town to work and we after work and on weekends. Then a together in the town and in her home rumor started circulating that she is br inging “certain ugly behavior” to the town, that she is a lesbian. I decided to monitor her, to watch her closely, People were saying she is spreading but I did not see anything suspicious. uth groups were very angry, they bad behavior in the town and the yo wanted her to leave the place. People suspected she was a lesbian because she always dressed in men’s clothing. I suggested she should leave the town for her own safety. When the be ating happened, I was not there. I decided I would not go anywhere near that place because people knew we 86 were friends, and they would have dragged me into the issue as well. people in Asankrangwa do not tolerate Michael explained to Human Rights Watch that ed when Pearl finally left the town. He homosexual behavior and everyone was reliev at had happened to her, but he was also further explained that he was upset about wh relieved that she had left the town because he “could finally be free and not be associated 87 with a person suspected of being a lesbian.” le, Dorothy and Emily, who reported that Human Rights Watch interviewed a lesbian coup b in Ampayo village, about a two-hour drive on May 10, 2016, they were attacked by a mo 88 from Kumasi. mily’s mother found them in According to Dorothy, E an intimate situation outing that there were lesbians in the house and called out to everyone in the vicinity, sh with them.” Dorothy explained: and that “the youth should deal About 20 to 25 people came into th e room. [My partner] was naked, her of the guys took a cutlass from the mother told her to get dressed. One house, wanted to put it on my vagina. We struggled and he burnt my stomach with a piece of hot steel. They managed to cut [my partner] on the 86 iew with Michael, October 2017 Human Rights Watch telephone interv 87 Ibid. 88 thy and Emily, Kumasi, January 2017 Human Rights Watch interview with Doro HO O ” AM I 36 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

46 was bleeding. The crowd wanted to face–there was a major hole and she kill both of us. A neighbor stepped in and stopped the whole thing. Dorothy and Emily did not report the incident to the police, because they were scared and hbor gave them 100 be arrested. Their neig believed they had committed a crime and would with him for two weeks, until go to hospital and they lived CEDIS (approximately US$27) to them and they fled. Dorothy said: he started demanding sex from both of We decided to move to Kumasi. We found an abandoned building, and lived in that room, sleeping on boxes on the floor. We went to work for people in the market here in Kumasi every day. We would make maybe five CEDIS (approximately US$1) per day. We lived in the abandoned building for two months. Pearl heard about our story, she came to find us, and we months. We don’t have stayed there for three moved into her house and do. We must have gs we don’t want to jobs now, so we are forced to do thin no family, no sex with men to survive – we have money, nothing. 89 Sometimes I must steal stuff and sell so we can have something to eat. Several interviewees in Accra told Human Rights Watch that in March 2015, a group of ates as a local vigilante group] violently “youth boys” [members of a gang that oper g because they suspected they were all attacked attendees of a birthday gatherin homosexual. Emmanuella, a 24-year-old lesbian originally from the Eastern region, told Human Rights Watch that she was at the birthday party with a group of friends when 90 orhood invaded the party. ys” from the Teshie neighb approximately 20 “youth bo She said: They entered the space, carrying urine and feces in plastic bags—they were also carrying stones and they started throwing these things at us. There were about 35 people at the party. They beat up the host, Tamsen, with a n the next day to report the incident. cane. Tamsen went to the police statio e of the lesbianism thing, they don’t The police told her that if it’s becaus want to hear anything about it. We late r learned that the area boys had told 89 Ibid. 90 Emmanuella, Accra, January 2017 Human Rights Watch interview with 37 IGHTS H ANUARY UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

47 they were planning this action and the police at Teshie police station that the police should not get involved. Constance, a 31-year-old lesbian who was also at the birthday party, told Human Rights Watch that she was afraid of reporting the inci dent to the police because of the stigma and 91 discrimination LGBT people often enco unter at the Teshie police station. She said: “Teshie is a lawless place, lesbians are not safe here, we are subjected to street abuse and harassment on a daily basis but we don’t go to the police because we know they don’t care 92 and will not help us.” Domestic Violence against Lesbian and Bisexual Women sbian Blamed for Death of Family Members Le About six years ago my girlfriend came to vi sit me. A friend saw us holding hands, she about being a lesbian took a picture, sent it to my senior sist er who confronted me and told my mother. My father is in the ar my, so when he came home from Accra, and started beating me with his belt, and the heard the story, he didn’t say a word—he just buckle struck above my eye. I was bleeding, my mom intervened. They argued, he got into his car, drove back to Accra and was kill ed in a car accident on the way. My family my mother started to for about a year, then blamed me for his death. Things were okay food, she said from that day onwards she get sick. One day, while I was serving her would not accept my food—won’t take anyt hing from me because of my disgusting , that I can’t change—I can’t do anything lesbian behavior. I told her that’s how I am about it. She suddenly fell from her chair and collapsed. I took her to hospital—she of the family blamed me for her death. died an hour later. My maternal side 93 -Priscila, 23-year-old woman from Kumasi 91 Human Rights Watch interview with Constance, January 2017, Accra 92 March 7, 2015, Ibid. See also “Homophobic residents flood town with posters of alleged lesbians,” GhanaWeb, https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Homophobic-residents-flood-town-with-posters-of-alleged- residents of Teshie, Accra ed that a group of homophobic lesbians-349426; On March 7, 2015 the Starr newspaper report printed and circulated posters of a lesbian couple. 93 Priscila, Kumasi, January 2017 Human Rights Watch interview with O 38 “N ” AM I HO W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C

48 to domestic violence at the hands of family Lesbians and bisexual women are vulnerable members. Human Rights Watch interviewed se veral who experienced physical violence, psychological abuse and intimidation by family members when they learned of their sexual deny or conceal their sexual that even after they tried to orientation. Many women said acized them. None of the orientation, their family member s assaulted, expelled, or ostr filed complaints with the police. In many victims interviewed by Human Rights Watch had cases, the deep-seated fear of stigma and soci al isolation, stopped victims from reporting crimes against them. Agnes, a 26-year-old lesbian from Accra, no w unemployed, told Human Rights Watch: to my workplace and told my manager On 3 February, 2016, my father went that I am a lesbian. He “outed” me at work. When I arrived home that same day, he had packed all my belongings in a bag and left it outside the door. He said I should leave and never come back to his house because I have disgraced the family. me. However, she said: then tried to return ho Agnes stayed with a friend for two months, and When [my father] saw me at the gate he chased me away with cutlasses. Until today, even when I see him in pu blic, I must run away and make sure that he does not see me. He will kill me if I try to go back home. My father will have no problem killing me. I has killed someone before, so I know he 94 am terrified of my father. Emelia, a 35-year-old lesbian fr om Kumasi, told Human Rights Watch that when her father found out she was a lesbian in 2016, he beat her for more than three hours with his fists t her on the leg with a broken beer bottle. and a belt, and when she tried to run away, he hi 95 Then he asked her to leave the family home. from Kumasi, described Josephine, 43, also r about her sexual orie how her brother and sister, after confronting he ntation in December 96 2015, proceeded to beat her up with a wooden implement. Josephine spent more over a , and at the time of th month in hospital recovering from her injuries e interview in January 94 nes, Kumasi, January 2017, no. 78 Human Rights Watch interview with Ag 95 Emelia, Kuamsi, January 2017, Human Rights Watch interview with 96 Human Rights Watch interview with Josephine, Kumasi, January 2017 39 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

49 res. She now lives with her best friend, out 2017, had still not fully recovered from the inju of fear that her family may attack her partner as well. Rasheeda, a 25-year-old woman from Accra, wa s one of only two lesbians interviewed by ntation to her family Human Rights Watch who voluntarily, disclo sed their sexual orie members. She explained what happened: ting women, and my partner would Approximately five years ago I was da came into the house and confronted visit me at home. One day my mother me about being a lesbian. When I told her it was true, that yes, I am a her hands all over my body. There lesbian, she started beating me–with were other family members in the house, they tried to stop her, but she grabbed my left arm and cut me with a blade that she had been carrying– there was so much blood. My uncle managed to stop her then, and took me 97 to the hospital. It took three months for the wound to heal. similar consequences as a result of the Lesbian and bisexual women in Ghana suffer and the social stigma as that of gay and criminalization of “unnatural carnal knowledge” bisexual men. However, they also experience specific violence perpetrated by family iages and lack of autonomy over sexual and members, pressure to enter heterosexual marr e gay and bisexual men interviewed by Human reproductive health and choices. None of th ected to physical violence by family members Rights Watch stated that they had been subj because of their sexuality. Abigail, also 33, described family pressure to get married and have children, and her fear xual orientation. She said, of her family learning of her se “if my family knew, they would ey can never have proof because that would kill me... they may suspect something, but th be the end for me.” Watch that if her family found out her sexual Naa, a 26-year old woman, told Human Rights is no conversation to be y disown her. She said: “There orientation, they would immediatel 97 Rasheeda, Accra, January 2017 Human Rights Watch interview with HO O ” AM I 40 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

50 had, even if they insult gay people in my pr esence, I cannot say anything–I started out as a 98 riend, so I had to start dating men.” lesbian, but my family was demanding a boyf to many other lesbians that Human Rights Anne’s experience with her family is similar Watch interviewed. Six years ago, when he r mother and brother found out she was a lesbian, they asked her to leave the family home because of the shame she had brought to the family. She was 18 years old. For the past six years, Anne has lived with and relied on the support of friends and memb ers of the LGBT community in her town to survive, and is not permitted to return home for as long as she identifies and lives as a lesbian. Jake, a 30-year-old transgender man from Accra who works as a security guard said he knows he will soon have to marry a man, and that he does not have a choice because his family is very religious. Even though he is employed and economically independent, he does not want to lose his family, because th e family connection is important to him. Jake said: The government should let the public kn ow that it is not a crime, that they should just leave LGBT people alone–le t them be, let them live their lives. Even though I am a man, a transgender man, I know that I will not have a children. Because of the general choice but to marry a man and have perception in society, I will not have a choice. I will have to take it as 99 normal, it is what is expected of me by my family and society. Public Violence, Blackmail and Extortion of Gay Men al media played in the physical abuse and Several young gay men described the role soci take advantage of the stigma, shame and victimization they suffered. The perpetrators t report the crime to the police. ent, confident that the victim will no homophobic environm social media platform and after chatting for Felix, a 26-year-old gay man, met someone on a 100 about three months, they decided to meet around May 2016. He told Human Rights Watch: 98 Human Rights Watch interview with Naa, Accra, January 2017 no. 24 99 Human Rights Watch interview with Jake, Accra, January 2017 100 Felix, January 2017, Kumasi Human Rights Watch interview with 41 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

51 were about to get intimate, he left This man invited me to his house. As we the room and returned with three othe r men. They started asking me all kinds of questions about being gay and telling me it is an abomination. They told me to take off all my clothe s. Then one of them started to rape me, the second guy was taking pictures, while the third was hitting me with me time. When they were done, they a belt. All of this happened at the sa told me to get dressed and leave. They took my phone and wallet. the police out of fear that he Felix did not report the rape to would be arrested for having “gay sex.” For a period of two months afte r the rape, the three men regularly contacted Felix threating to post the pictures on Facebo ok if he did not pay them. Despite being very poor and unemployed, he gave them 800 CE DIS (approximately US$182) in total. old who identifies as a tran Similarly, Solomon, a 31-year- sgender woman but presents she met a man on a dating site sometime in publicly as a man due to social stigma, said 101 o weeks, they arranged to meet at a bar. 2010 and after chatting on text for about tw r in the evening, the man asked her to Solomon told Human Rights Watch that late accompany him to his house so he could drop off keys for his brother. She agreed, but then realized she had been set up: six guys. Without saying a word, they On the way, we were surrounded by started beating me and took everythi ng I had, including my money and mobile phone. They took all the item s and gave them to the man I had met with. They stripped me naked and beat me, with belts, sticks, fists and anything they could find in the street. the assault. She reported the incident to Solomon was assisted by two men who witnessed ko District Police station. Solomon said the Hong Kong Police Station, within the Odor he admitted to beatin when one of the assailants was apprehended, g her up, but claimed x with a young boy in the neighborhood. it was because Solomon wanted to have se 101 Human Rights Watch interview with Solomon, Accra, January 2017 HO O ” AM I 42 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

52 lomon said while the district police were Police detained the suspect for one night. So court, the accused’s the matter to proceed to eager to investigate the assault case, and for promising to pay for ce Commander (DCPC), mother pleaded with the District Chief Poli if she dropped the case. Solomon said she was forced to Solomon’s hospital treatment drop the charges when the DCPC told her that she would be prosecuted under the Criminal Offences Act if she proceeded with the assault case. Justice, a 23-year-old gay man fr om Accra, was also set up by a man whom he had met on a 102 social media platform. On September 11, 2014, Justice arranged to meet the man at a bar, Santa Maria, at 2p.m. He described what happened: We met at the spot we had arranged an d while we were chatting, four boys approached us and asked us why two men were standing there talking to each other–they started throwing st ones and started beating me up. I fought back. I realized [the other man] had organized the beating. They wanted to take my phone but I fought back hard and they ran away. Justice reported the incident but, in part out of fear that he would be arrested for planning to meet another man for sex, did not provide the police with full information about the incident. No Access to Justice Assessing the Ghana Police response to righ ts-abuses faced by LGBT people, Jefferey, a Human Rights Watch that there n-governmental organization, told representative of a no Assistant on would be taken, but singled out were no given expectations that acti the Programme Coordinator of Ghana Police Commissioner of Police Jones Blantari, also : AIDS Control Programme, for praise The primary challenge is convincing th e police to protect LGBT victims of a network that we trust, specifically crime. We always have to work through t to go to a regular police station and [Officer] Blantari. It is extremely difficul LGBT–it takes a call from Blantari or a paralegal or report a crime if you are 102 Human Rights Watch interview wi th Justice, January 2017, Accra 43 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

53 an LGBT advocacy person for the police to take cases seriously. A lay LGBT 103 person can’t just walk into a po lice station and report a case. Several interviewees conf shion designer from Accra, told irmed this. Alfred, a 28-year old fa physically assaulted by four young men from Human Rights Watch that in June 2015 he was xual orientation. He said the boys beat his neighborhood, Mamprobi, who knew of his se ting: “It’s people like you who make Ghana him up with their hands and belts, while shou not go forward, it’s gay peoples’ fault.” Alfred reported the assault at Mamprobi Police Station. The police took his statement and gave him a medical form to take to Ghana Police Hospital for a medical examination. Al fred told Human Rights Watch that when he obody was paying attentio n, so I sat there for returned to the police station the next day, “n the case to a friend who works for a human a long time.” It was only after he reported and told him they would rights organization that the police called him to the police station, arrest the young men: We went to the homes of the boys with the police. Their parents begged me and settle everything. The families gave me 500 to withdraw the charges 104 CEDIS (approximately US$114) to pay hospital bills. They also apologized. at if someone offends group, he believes th Alfred explained that as a member of the Akan you, and they apologize, you must forgive them the case. The police , so he did not pursue they encouraged this arrangement. did not pursue the matter either, in fact a suspect in a vicious mob attack against a In one high-profile case, Accra police arrested man, Arafat, in 2015. The attack was recorded book. After five court and uploaded to Face appearances in the Fast Track Court, both th e prosecutor and the suspect, who had been t. Human Rights Watch was informed by released on bail, stopped coming to cour representatives of an organization providing le gal support to Arafat, that on June 8, 2017, . The fact that a widely reported case, with the magistrate struck the case off the court roll t who not only reported the case but also video evidence of the assault and a complainan th Jefferey, January 2017, Accra 103 Human Rights Watch interview wi 104 Human Rights Watch interview with Alfred, January 2017, Accra HO O ” AM I 44 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

54 regularly attended court has not gone to trial leads LGBT people to question whether it is of homophobic and transphobic violence. futile to seek justice in the aftermath s mob assault described what happened: Arafat, the 22-year-old victim of the viciou and he introduced me to Hakim, who On August 13, 2015, I visited a friend told me he was gay. We started chatting and the next day, August 14, he him at the roundabout. We met at the called me to ask me if I could meet roundabout around 10:20[p.m.] that night. As we were walking, two men followed us. After a few minutes, they approached us–asked me where I was taking Hakim to. They started hitt ing me with sticks and belts. They were screaming and shouting that I am gay and want to have sex with Hakim. They raised the alarm, so people came out to see what the commotion was about. They dragged me to a place called Gambo–that’s where they hang out. Started asking me questions, like whether I knew more than 20 men at this point. other gay people in the area. There were tions, they made me take off my When they were done with their ques clothes. I had only boxer shorts on. They put me on a bench and started beating me with belts and sticks. I was questioned for one hour and beaten I fell off the bench, even though for about two hours after that. Every time they would pick me up and continue they were holding my hands and legs, stop them, no one helped me. The with the beating. No one tried to people who beat me up uploaded the video on Facebook as a warning to 105 other gay people. afat open a case of assault at Nima Police Only with the support of LGBT activists could Ar Station against the attackers. He said: “The poli ce were initially reluct ant to deal with the case–they said the ringleader has too many ca ses against him already. They did not want only when the Human Rights Advocacy Centre to investigate a new case against him. It was 106 started following up and investigating.” got involved and put pressure that they 105 Human Rights Watch Interview with Arafat, Accra, February 2017 106 Ibid. 45 IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

55 The police eventually arrested and charged on e suspect, who was detained for over four months, but he was released on bail in Marc h 2016. Since the case was struck off the roll in June 2017 due to the prosecutor’s failure to appear in court, Arafat fears that his attackers will never be brought to justice. I AM O 46 “N C HOICE BUT TO D ENY W HO ”

56 IV. Signs of Positive State Action The government should recognize that we are human beings, with dignity, ety. We want to be free so we can not treat us as outcasts in our own soci stand tall in public and not deal with obstacles and harassment daily. This ucation, learn a trade, get jobs and be will make it easier for us to get an ed useful and productive Ghanaians. -Julia, 40-year-old woman, Cape Coast, January 2017 The anti-gay law in Ghana is a colonial legacy and prosecutions are rare if ever. Unlike several of its neighbors, not only has Ghana not introduced additional penalties for adult consensual same-sex conduct, but two government agencies , the Ghana Police Force and ative Justice have proactively tried to the Commission on Human Rights and Administr reach out to LGBT people and ensure their prot ection. As noted in section III above, despite subject to various forms of violence. This can these efforts LGBT people are still frequently be attributed to the government’s reluctan ce to, amongst other protective measures, repeal section 104(1)(b) of the 1960 Criminal Offences Act. Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice The legal basis for the creation of the Co mmission on Human Rights and Administrative 107 Justice (CHRAJ) is article 216 of 1992 Constitution. The mandate of CHRAJ, to protect and promote human rights, is set out in the Cons titution and the enabling legislation, the Justice Act (Act 456), 1993. Article 218 of Commission of Human Rights and Administrative the Constitution, mandates the CHRAJ to inter alia : fundamental human rights and freedoms, Investigate complaints of violations of • t of any person by a public officer in the exercise of injustice...and unfair treatmen 108 his official duties. 107 tive Justice (CHRAJ) Ghana, Undated, Commission on Human Rights and Administra titution: there shall be established by Act of Parliament http://www.chrajghana.com/?page_id=43; Article 216 of the Cons into force of this Constitution within six months after Parliament first meets after the coming , a Commission on Human Rights ist of - (a) a Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice; and (b) and Administrative Justice which shall cons two Deputy Commissioners for Human Rights and Administrative Justice 108 Ibid Article 218(a) 47 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

57 actices and actions by persons, private To investigate complaints concerning pr • enterprises and other institutions where those complaints allege violations of 109 fundamental rights and freedoms under this Constitution. ts and freedoms by such means as the • To educate the public as to human righ 110 blications, lectures and symposia. Commissioner may decide, including pu These functions are restated under section 7 of the CHRAJ Act, and since August 2013, the CHRAJ has implemented an online complaint system for allegations of discrimination 111 including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The CHRAJ receives and processes complaints, including those filed an onymously, and collects and publishes the data online. According to CHRAJ figures 36 of the 75 disc rimination cases filed with CHRAJ since 2013, 112 were from LGBT people. Cephas Essiful Ansah, officer in charge of the online told Human Rights Watch that he attends discrimination reporting system at CHRAJ, training workshops for LGBT organizations meetings with and conducts human rights 113 of blackmail and discrimination. because of the regular complaints While noting that the position on criminalization of unnatural carnal government is unlikely to change its official e CHRAJ mandate and approach: knowledge, Cephas explained th We are not promoting their activities, but we are protecting their human rights. This is the policy position of the Human Rights Commission and it is based on our Constitution. Our on-line reporting system is for LGBT people and key populations. It was established because people were only reporting to NGOs, so we had to develop an online system. At the n rights –we deal with this topic Commission, we are protecting their huma 114 from a human rights perspective, because protection is paramount. 109 Ibid Article 218(c) 110 Ibid Article 218 (f) 111 Statistics provided by CHRAJ Complaints Officer on file Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Ghana; with Human Rights Watch 112 Data available on file with Human Rights Watch. 113 Human Rights Watch interview with Cephas Essiful Ansah, Accra, January 2017 114 Ibid. HO O ” AM I 48 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

58 Several interviewees told Human Rights Watc h that they are aware of the mandate of proach the institution for legal support. CHRAJ and that they feel comfortable to ap r-old gay man from Kumasi told Human Rights Watch that For instance, Simon, a 30-yea for being gay, they were both ars reported him to the police after his ex-partner of three ye arrested and detained from January 16-18, 20 16 at Kumasi Central Police Station. Simon said that they were released after the CH RAJ Kumasi regional office intervened by “explaining the situation to the police–told th em that being gay is not a crime—that only unnatural carnal knowledge is a crime”. They each paid 200 CEDIS (approximately US$46) 115 at the police station and went home. Ghana Police Practice The Ghana Police Service has at times respon ded appropriately to abuses against LGBT people, and for example in cases of false a ccusations and blackmail of gay men or those suspected of being homosexual by members of the public. Several interviewees in Tamale experienced police harassment or arbitrary told Human Rights Watch that they had not onsive to their reports of harassment by arrests, and that the police service was resp members of the public. Malik, a 22-year ol d self-employed gay man from Tamale told Human Rights Watch: My friends and I were constantly being harassed and threatened by youth boys. About 6 months ago, sometime in July 2016, a group of about 10 guys–youth vigilante group–came to my house. They were shouting, threatening to beat us up and kill us for being gay. They said gays are not welcomed in Tamale. The ne xt day we went to report them at Tamale Central Police Station. The police questioned them and charged them with threats to life. They each had to pay 400 CEDIS (approximately US$90). Since then 116 we have not been harassed by anyone. According to a news report, in March 2017, two men were accused of having Ghanaweb Mataheko in Accra. Hotel staff called the anal sex in the room by hotel attendants at 115 Human Rights Watch interview Simon, Kumasi, January 2017 116 Human Rights Watch interview with Malik, Tamale, January 2017 49 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

59 over to the Domestic Violence and Victim police, who arrested the men and handed them 117 Support Unit (DOVVSU). police commander reportedly Following investigations, the l attendants were inaccurate, and told the concluded that ‘the statements given by hote media: nst homosexuality in the country as Even though some of us may be agai e police do not want people to take our religious beliefs infringe on that, th the law into their own hands and humil iate, molest innocent persons on 118 suspicion that they are homosexuals without proper evidence. In May 2017, Assistant Commissioner of Poli ce, Jones Blantari, in his capacity as Programme Coordinator of Ghana Police AIDS Control Programme, delivered a presentation at a workshop convened by Inerela-Ghana ti tled “Transformative Framework for the LGBT 119 Community in Ghana.” Clarifying the provision of the Criminal Offences Act that deals with “unnatural carnal knowledge,” Blantari concluded: “...the law as it stands now is clearl y inadequate and its application to just a matter of taking advantage of prosecute LGBTI [people] in Ghana is convenient public outrage on activities that may seem morally 120 reprehensible. (UPR) of its human rights record before the At the October 2012 Universal Periodic Review 3 out of 148 recommendations, rejecting 25 UN Human Rights Council, Ghana accepted 12 ovisions of Criminal Offences h penalty and repeal of the pr regarding abolition of the deat 121 ensual same-sex conduct. Act criminalizing adult cons rejected recomme ndations aimed at ensuring It is instructive to note that while Ghana protection from violence for LGBT indi viduals, the government accepted UPR 117 March 24, 2017, GhanaWeb, “The sex was acted - Alleged homosexuals claim,” http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/The-sex-was-acted-Alleged-homosexuals-claim-521725 118 Ibid. 119 Inerala-Ghana is a faith-based organisation actively involved in reducing the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS. The workshop was attended by men who have sex with men (MSM), psychologists, religious groups, and peer educators. 120 a. Presentation on file with Human Rights Watch. Jones Blanatri Presentation, LGBTI and the Law in Ghan 121 https://www.upr- Universal Periodic Review, Ghana Seco nd Review, Session 14 info.org/sites/default/files/document/ghana/session_14_-_october_2012/recommendationsandpledgesghana2012.pdf HO O ” AM I 50 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

60 ive implementation of the Domestic Violence recommendations relating to ensuring effect 122 Act, stitutions, namely, the Domestic Violence strengthening the capacities of two in e and the Commission on Human Rights and Support Unit of the Ghana Police Servic 123 Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). The Domestic Violence Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), thin the Ghana Police Service with a broad established in 1998, is a specialized unit wi g advice, conducting mandate to protect the victims against all form s of abuse by providin investigations and arrests and as necessary , prosecutions. The DOVVSU functions include “to investigate all female and children re lated offences; to handle cases involving ses, where necessary, and [to perform] any domestic violence; to prosecute all such ca 124 other functions [as] directed by the Inspector General of Police.” LGBT-related UPR Recommendations Rejected by Ghana, October 2012 R-126.20. Adopt measures and take steps a imed at raising public awareness to fight the country. against the climate of homophobia that prevails in R-126.21. Adopt proactive measures at all le vels to combat violence, stigmatization e basis of their sexual orientation. and discrimination towards persons on th lations”, and adopt R-126.22. Eliminate the type of crime of “unnatural sexual re rimination motivated by sexu measures to eradicate disc al orientation and gender identity. R-126.23. Ensure that the provisions in th e Constitution that guarantee equality and dignity are equally applied to members of the lesbian, ga y, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and ensure thorough and imp artial investigation into all allegations rgeted because of their sexual orientation of attacks and threats against individuals ta or gender identity. 122 Domestic Violence Act, 732 of 2007 availabl e at http://evaw-global-database.unwomen.org/- /media/files/un%20women/vaw/full%20text/africa/ghana%20-%20domestic%20violence%20act%20(2007).pdf 123 Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (C HRAJ), national human rights institution established in accordance with the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and by its enabling Act, Act 456, in 1993, available at http://www.chrajghana.com/ 124 formerly the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU), established by Ghana: Domestic Violence Victim Support Unit (DOVVISU), the Ghanaian police and whether it provides protection to women in Ghana (March 2006) 51 2018 J | ATCH ANUARY IGHTS R UMAN H W

61 Commissioner on sexual orientation and R-126.24. Consider the report of the High the recommendations can be taken into gender identity and determine which of account in the further detailing of government policies. officials to respect stem and social services R-126.25. Train police, first responders, justice sy anaian, including those who are lesbian, gay, and fully protect all human rights of every Gh bisexual, and transgender. As this report demonstrates, these institutions are essential for the protection of the rights of LGBT people in Ghana. Effective action by the Police Services and the DOVVSU can contribute significantly to ensuring Ghana’s co mpliance with its responsibility to act with sh acts of violence against LGBT people. due diligence to prevent, investigate and puni AM 52 ” O I HO W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

62 V. Ghana’s Legal Obligations The government needs to clarify th e provisions of the Criminal Code. le in Ghana that it is not a crime to Parliament or the courts need to tell peop meeting people in public spaces and be gay. We don’t want to be afraid of of going to work. - Representative of an LGBT group, Accra, January 2017 guarantees a range of fundamental human Chapter five of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution 125 rights and freedoms to all its citizens. Section 12(1) of the constitution provides: The fundamental human rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected and upheld by the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary d its agencies and, where applicable and all other organs of government an to them, by all natural and legal persons in Ghana, and shall be enforceable 126 by the Courts as provided for in this Constitution. tal human rights and freedoms are “subject Section 12 then provides that such fundamen 127 to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.” The constitution does not provide a definition of “public interest”. Article 17(1) and (2) of the constitution guarantees equality before the law and prohibits discrimination on grounds of 128 “gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.” Sexual orientation and gender identity are not enumerated as prohibited grounds of e Constitution does not include “sex” as a discrimination. Furthermore, Article 17 of th ground for non-discrimination. The Constitution ensures respect for human dignity, and the right to privacy for all – this should be understood to protection of personal liberty, extend to LGBT people. 125 Government of Ghana. “Constitution of the Republic of Ghana,” 126 Ibid section 12(1) 127 Ibid Section 12(2) 128 t be discriminated aga ual before the law. (2) A person shall no Ibid Article 17(1) All persons shall be eq inst on grounds of . Creed or social or economic status. gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion 53 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

63 Chapter six of the Constitution sets out the Directive Principles of State Policy, including the human rights of LGBT people in Ghana, ones particularly pertinent to the protection of es regarding sexual or ientation and gender which must guide legislative and policy measur identity issues: ivate among all Ghanaians respect for • Section 35(4) (4): The State shall cult fundamental human rights and freedoms and the dignity of the human person. • Section 37(1): (1) The State shall ende avour to secure and protect a social order founded on the ideals and principles of freedom, equality, justice, probity and accountability as enshrined in Chapter 5 of this Constitution; and in particular, the State shall dire ct its policy towards ensuring that every citizen has equality of rights, obligations and opportunities before the law. act appropriate laws to ensure the • Section 37(2)(b): (2) The State shall en protection and promotion of all othe r basic human rights and freedoms, including the rights of the disabled, th e aged, children and other vulnerable groups in development processes. ided by international human rights Section 37(3): The State shall be gu instruments which recognize and appl y particular categories of basic lopment processes. human rights to deve • yment of rights and freedoms is Section 41(d): The exercise and enjo of duties and obligations, and inseparable from the performance ery citizen - (d) to respect the rights, accordingly, it shall be the duty of ev hers, and generally to refrain from freedoms and legitimate interests of ot 129 doing acts detrimental to th e welfare of other persons. 130 In 2007, the government of Ghana enacted the Domestic Violence Act, (Act No. 732). It lainants of domestic in response to comp provides that protection orders may be issued 129 e 34(1): The Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Ibid Chapter 6 The Directive Principles of State Policy, Articl the Judiciary, the Council of State, the Cabinet, political this Chapter shall guide all citizens, Parliament, the President, on or any other law and in taking and applying or interpreting the Constituti parties and other bodies and persons in implementing any policy decisions, for the establishment of a just and free society. 130 Ghana Domestic Violence Act 732, 2007 https://s3.amazonaws.com/ndpc- static/CACHES/PUBLICATIONS/2016/04/16/domestic+violence+act.pdf HO O ” AM I 54 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

64 urt issued protection t for violations of co violence and that criminal charges can be brough sexual orientation and violence motivated by orders. While the act is silent on domestic gender identity, LGBT individuals subjected to domestic violence are entitled to protection and legal recourse afforded by it. Obligations under International Law ional human rights treaties that obligate it Ghana has ratified several regional and internat to respect and protect the rights of LGBT peop le, including the right to equality before the law, non-discrimination, human dignity, priv acy and the right to be free from violence. 131 These include the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter), the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in 132 Africa (Maputo Protocol), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of 133 and the International Covenant on Civil and Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), 134 Political Rights (ICCPR). eaties Ghana has accepted legal By becoming a party to these tr obligations to exercise due diligence in prot ecting people from all forms of violence er identity, whether perpetrated by state or regardless of their sexual orientation or gend non-state actors. Protocol states are required to take necessary measures Under Article 4(2) of the Maputo 135 punish all forms of violence against women. to enact and enforce laws to prohibit and In October 2012, the African Commission adopted it s General Comment to article 14(1)(d) and 131 “African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Adopted 27 June 1981, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3 rev. 5, 21 I.L.M. 58 jul_charter.pdf Ratified by (1982), entered into force 21 October 1986),” http://www.achpr .org/files/instruments/achpr/ban Ghana on January 24, 1989. 132 les' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa,” “Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peop http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ 133 18, 1979. Entry into force September 3, Assembly resolution 34/180 of December The Convention was adopted by General 1981, Ratified by Ghana January 2, 1986 134 The Covenant was adopted by the United Nations General A ssembly Resolution 2200A (XXI ) of December 16, 1966. It entered into force on March 23, 1976, Ratified by Ghana on September 7, 2000. 135 on the Rights of Women in Africa,” Article 2: States Parties “Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights enforce laws to prohibit all forms of violence against women shall take appropriate and effective measures to: a) enact and ace in private or public; b) adopt such other legislative, including unwanted or forced sex whether the violence takes pl ary to ensure the prevention, punishment and eradication of administrative, social and economic measures as may be necess ence against women and take es and consequences of viol all forms of violence against women; c) identify the caus appropriate measures to prevent and eliminate such violence;... violence against women and ..e) punish the perpetrators of implement programmes for the rehabilitation of women victims; 55 IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

65 (e) of the Maputo Protocol, in which it expressly included sexual orientation as a 136 of discrimination: recognized ground there are multiple forms of According to the African Commission discrimination based on various ground s such as: race, sex, sexuality, marital status, HIV status, social and sexual orientation, age, pregnancy, economic status, disability, harmful cu stomary practices and/or religion. In addition, the African Commission recognises that these forms of discrimination, individually or collec tively, prevent women from realising 137 their right to self-protection and to be protected. Article 24(a) of the Maputo Protocol also ob ligates parties to “ensure the protection of families including women from poor women and women heads of marginalized population groups and provide an environment suitable to their condition and their physical, 138 economic and social needs.” In May 2014, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) adopted Resolution 275 on “Protection against Violence and other Human of their real or imputed Sexual Orientation Rights Violations against Persons on the basis and Gender Identity” (Resolution 275), re-affirming, inter alia , the rights to freedom from 139 tion of the law. law and equal protec discrimination, equality before the Through this ssly condemned “violence and other human resolution, the African Commission expre bitrary imprisonment and other forms of rights abuses including rape, assault, ar systematic attacks by State and non-state actors against persecution and the situation of sexual orientation or gender identity”, and persons on the basis of their imputed or real urged all states party to the African Charter to: 136 ol to the “African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on General Comments on Article 14 (1) (d) and (e) of the Protoc the Rights of Women in Africa.” 137 Ibid para 4 138 Women in Africa,” Article 24 Special n and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of “Protocol to the African Charter on Huma Protection of Women in Distress 139 man Rights Violations against “275: Resolution on Protection against Violence and other Hu Persons on the basis of their ntation or Gender Identity,” real or imputed Sexual Orie African Commission on Hu man and Peoples’ Rights, Undated, http://www.achpr.org/sessions/55th/resolutions/275/ HO O ” AM I 56 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

66 mmitted by State or non- ce and abuse, whether co ...end all acts of violen and effectively applying appropriate state actors, including by enacting forms of violence including those laws prohibiting and punishing all al orientation or imputed or real sexu targeting persons on the basis of their gender identities, ensuring proper inve stigation and diligent prosecution or procedures responsive to the needs perpetrators, and establishing judicial 140 of victims. African states to act with due diligence to Resolution 275 underscores the obligation on ence. Ghana referenced Resolution 275 at the protect LGBT individuals from all forms of viol abstaining from a vote on the appointment of UN Human Rights Council in June 2016 when a United Nations Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination tity. The Ghanaian delegate explained why based on sexual orientation and gender iden tion in abstaining from the vote, rather Ghana had taken a relatively “progressive” posi ates that voted against the resolution: than following the lead of other African st the backdrop of what the Commission This resolution was adopted against rimination and other of violence, disc found to be alarming incidents of acts to be committed against individuals human rights violations that continue in many parts of Africa because of their actual or imputed sexual in 2011 Ghana voted against the orientation and gender identity... resolution that has been referred to in the preambular paragraph. But there y because of... the resolution of the has been evolution in thinking–partl 141 African Commission on Human and Pe oples’ Rights, which I just cited. ation against Women, the UN treaty body The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimin e compliance with CEDAW, has also emphasized a state’s responsible for monitoring stat general recommendation due diligence obligations. In its 1992 No. 19 the committee confirmed that in addition to preventing vi olence by public authorities “...under general so be responsible for international law and specific human rights co venants, States may al ns of rights or to gence to prevent violatio private acts if they fail to act with due dili 140 Ibid. 141 Sexual Orientation and Gender identity: “Appointing an Independent Expert on An Analysis of Process, Results and ghts Council June13 – 1st July, 2016,” Implications: 32nd Session of the Human Ri ARC International, p.50, http://arc- international.net/wp-content/uploads/ 2016/08/HRC32-final-report-EN.pdf 57 IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

67 142 investigate and punish acts of viol ence and for providing compensation.” The committee a legal obligation to 28) that states have reiterated in 2010 (in general recommendation 143 prevent, investigate, prosecute and puni sh all acts of gender-based violence. imination of Violation against Women provides: Article 4 (c) of the 1993 Declaration on the El should not invoke States should condemn violence against women and s consideration to avoid their any custom, tradition or religiou with respect to its elimination. obligations States should pursue by all thout delay a policy of eliminating violence appropriate means and wi against women and, to this end, should: Exercise due diligence to prevent, tional legislation, punish acts of investigate and, in accordance with na violence against women, whether those acts are perpetrated by the State or 144 by private persons. [emphasis added] No. 35 on gender- In July 2017, the CEDAW Committee adopted general recommendation based violence against women, calling on all St ates parties to CEDAW to “ repeal all legal and thereby enshrine, encourage, facilitate, provisions that discriminate against women, gender-based violence against them – and in particular, to justify or tolerate any form of tolerate or condone forms of gender-based violence against repeal provisions that allow, 145 women, including legisl ian, bisexual, or transgender.” ation that criminalizes being lesb ion No. 33 on women’s access to justice The CEDAW Committee, in general recommendat notes that women who identify as lesbian, bi are disproportionately sexual or transgender 146 criminalized, and this impedes their a ccess to justice as victims of crime. While section ana does not expressly criminalize same-sex 104(1)(b) of the Criminal Offences Act in Gh conduct between females, Human Rights Watc h found that this law impedes lesbian and justice and legal redress. bisexual women’s ability to seek 142 CEDAW General Recommendation 19 para 9 143 CEDAW/C/GC/28 para 19 144 A/RES/48/104 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women available at: http://www.un.org/document s/ga/res/48/a48r104.htm 145 olence against women, updating general recommendation CEDAW General Recommendation. No. 35 on gender-based vi No. 19 CEDAW/C/GC/35 available at: obal/CEDAW_C_GC_35_8267_E.pdf es/CEDAW/Shared%20Documents/1_Gl http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treati 146 CEDAW General Recommendation No. 33 women’s W/C/GC/33 para 49 access to justice CEDA HO O ” AM I 58 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

68 n of the provision criminalizing to access to justice, retentio In addition to being a barrier t enforced, is a breach of Ghana’s obligations “unnatural carnal knowledge”, even if it is no under international human rights treaties that the State has ratified. compliance with the h evaluates countries’ In 2016, the UN Human Rights Committee, whic International Covenant on Civil and Politica l Rights, expressed concern about reports of LGBT people, the government’s failure to discrimination, intimidation and harassment of 147 respond to such abuses, and the criminalizat ion of adult consensual same-sex conduct. based in Ghana and elsewhere had submitted a A collective of human rights organizations ainst LGBT people in Ghana, which described Shadow Report on human rights violations ag n, violent attacks against LGBT to arbitrary arrests and detentio how criminalization leads 148 The UN Human m of expression and association. people, and suppression of freedo ect LGBT people from discrimination, Rights Committee called on Ghana to prot n 104 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, to intimidation and violence and to “amend sectio enting adults of the same-sex are not ensure that sexual relations between cons 149 d not punishable by law. considered a misdemeanor an 147 CCPR/C/GHA/CO/1 para 43 148 n, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) People in Ghana: A Shadow Report,” “Human Rights Violations Against Lesbia Solace Brothers Foundation, The Initiative for Equal Rights, Heartland Alliance: Global Initiative for Sexuality and Human ghts, Bluhm Legal Clinic, Northwestern Law, Rights and Centre for International Human Ri http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared %20Documents/GHA/INT_CCPR_ICO_GHA_21415_E.pdf 149 Supra (n9) para 44 59 IGHTS H UMAN R ANUARY W ATCH | J 2018

69 Acknowledgments Wendy Isaack, researcher at Human Rights This report was researched and written by Watch. The report was reviewed by Neela Ghoshal, se nior researcher in the LGBT Rights Program; Women’s Rights Division; Corinne Dufka, Agnes Odhiambo, senior researcher in the d Graeme Reid, LGBT Program director. Aisling associate director in the Africa Division; an Reidy, senior legal advisor; and Babatunde Olugboji, deputy program director, provided assistance was provided by MJ Movahedi, legal and programmatic reviews. Production Frank, photo and publications coordinator; LGBT rights program associate; Rebecca Rom- d Jose Martinez, senior coordinator. Fitzroy Hepkins, administrative manager; an Human Rights Watch would like to thank the numerous organizations and individuals that contributed to the research that went into this report. We are grateful to the LGBT people including Solace Brothers Foundation and and human rights organizations in Ghana, Human Rights, Ghana (CEPEHRG), who took time to share Centre for Popular Education oduce us to other with information relevant their experiences with us and helped to intr is report is dedicated to Abbubakar Sadiq to the issues addressed in this report. Th Yussif, co-founder of Solace Foundation, wi thout whose support this research would not have been possible. HO O ” AM I 60 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

70 Annex 1: African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Resolution 275: Protection against Violence and other Human Rights Violations against Persons on the basis of their real or imputed Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity man and Peoples' Rights African Commission on Hu The African Commission on Human and Peop les’ Rights (the African Commission), th Ordinary Session held in Luanda, Angola, from 28 April to 12 May meeting at its 55 2014: Recalling that Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) prohibits discrimination of the individu al on the basis of distinctions of any kind uage, religion, political or any other opinion, such as race, ethnic group, colour, sex, lang national and social origin, fortune, birth or any status; Further recalling r entitles every individual to equal that Article 3 of the African Charte protection of the law; Noting that Articles 4 and 5 of the African Charte r entitle every individual to respect of their r cruel, sinhuman and ohibit torture and othe life and the integrity of their person, and pr degrading treatment or punishment; d other human rights violations continue that acts of violence, discrimination an Alarmed many parts of Africa because of their actual or imputed to be committed on individuals in gender identity; sexual orientation or rape, physical assaults, torture, murder, that such violence includes ‘corrective’ Noting arbitrary arrests, detentions, utions, forced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and exec extortion and blackmail; 61 IGHTS ANUARY H UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

71 Further alarmed at the incidence of violence and human rights violations and abuses by State and non-State actors targeting hu man rights defenders and civil society of sexual orientation or gender identity in Africa; organisations working on issues Deeply disturbed by the failure of law enforcement ag encies to diligently investigate and prosecute perpetrators of violence and other human rights violations targeting persons on xual orientation or gender identity; the basis of their imputed or real se the increasing incidence of violence 1. and other human rights violations, Condemns including murder, rape, assault, arbi trary imprisonment and other forms of persecution of persons on the basis of thei r imputed or real sexual orientation or gender identity; attacks by State and non-state the situation of systematic Specifically condemns 2. r imputed or real sexual orientation or actors against persons on the basis of thei gender identity; 3. Calls on State Parties to ensure that human rights defenders work in an enabling als or criminal prosecution as a result of environment that is free of stigma, repris cluding the rights of sexual minorities; their human rights protection activities, in and States to end all acts of violen Strongly urges ce and abuse, whether committed by 4. enacting and effectively applying State or non-state actors, including by appropriate laws prohibiting and punishin g all forms of violence including those targeting persons on the basis of their imput ientation or gender ed or real sexual or identities, ensuring proper investigation and diligent prosecution of perpetrators, responsive to the needs of victims. and establishing judicial procedures th Ordinary Session of the Af Adopted at the 55 rican Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Luanda, Angola, 28 April to 12 May 2014 HO O ” AM I 62 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

72 th 350 Fifth Avenue, 34 Floor New York, NY 10118-3299 Tel: +1-212-290-4700 1300 - 591 - ;917 3452 Fax: +1 - - 736 - 212 Annex 2: Human Rights Watch Letter to Ghana Kenneth Roth, Executive Director Police Service Deputy Executive Directors Development and Global Initiatives Michele Alexander, Nicholas Dawes, Media Iain Levine, Program Operations Chuck Lustig, Advocacy Bruno Stagno Ugarte, October 11, 2017 Emma Daly, Communications Director Dinah PoKempner, General Counsel James Ross, Legal and Policy Director Mr. David Asante-Apeatu Division and Program Directors Inspector General of Police Brad Adams, Asia Daniel Bekele, Africa Ghana Police Service Headquarters Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, United States Alison Parker, United States Cantonment, Americas José Miguel Vivanco, Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa Ring Road, Accra Europe and Central Asia Hugh Williamson, Shantha Rau Barriga, Disability Rights Telephone: +233 302 779300 +233 302 779302-5 Emergencies Peter Bouckaert, Zama Coursen-Neff, Children’s Rights Richard Dicker, International Justice Bill Frelick, Refugees’ Rights Email: [email protected] Business and Human Rights Arvind Ganesan, Women’s Rights Liesl Gerntholtz, CC: [email protected] Steve Goose, Arms Diederik Lohman, acting, Health and Human Rights Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Graeme Reid , Dear Mr. Asante-Apeatu, Advocacy Directors Brazil Maria Laura Canineu, Kanae Doi, Japan I hope this letter finds you well. John Fisher, United Nations, Geneva Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia France Bénédicte Jeannerod, European Union Lotte Leicht, our ce and embargoed draft copy of I am writing to present an advan Washington, DC Sarah Margon, United Kingdom David Mepham, and report on the human rights s ituation of lesbian, gay, bisexual Germany Wenzel Michalski, Australia Elaine Pearson, ember, transgender (LGBT) people in G hana, to be released in early Nov Board of Directors in order to provide the Ghana ian government an opportunity to r espond Co-Chair Hassan Elmasry, Joel Motley, Co-Chair . Our established practice i s to to our findings and recommendations Wendy Keys, Vice-Chair d is the submit our findings to authoritie s and institutions whose recor Vice-Chair Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber, Sid Sheinberg, Vice-Chair subject of the report in order for their information and point of view to be Vice-Chair John J. Studzinski, Michael Fisch, Treasurer reflected in the reports we publish. Bruce Rabb, Secretary Karen Herskovitz Ackman Akwasi Aidoo Jorge Castañeda tional human rights organizatio Human Rights Watch is an interna n that Michael E. Gellert Betsy Karel We conducts research and advocacy in over 90 countries worldwide. Robert Kissane David Lakhdhir n rights in Ghana for many ye have documented violations of huma ars, Kimberly Marteau Emerson Oki Matsumoto Precious Metal, Cheap Labor: Child Labor and including the report Joan R. Platt Amy Rao Corporate Responsibility in G hana's Artisanal Gold Mines published in Neil Rimer Graham Robeson June 2015. Shelley Frost Rubin Kevin P. Ryan Ambassador Robin Sanders Bruce Simpson Human Rights Watch conducted in-de ine pth research in Ghana to exam Donna Slaight Siri Stolt-Nielsen human rights violations on the ba gender sis of sexual orientation and Darian W. Swig riminal act of section 104(1)(b) of the C identity and to assess the imp Makoto Takano John R. Taylor Code Act 29, 1960 on the lives of LGBT people. Our research sho ws that Amy Towers Peter Visser ecutions under this provision of despite the rare, if any, pros the Criminal Marie Warburg Catherine Zennström 63 UMAN J 2018 H ANUARY R IGHTS W ATCH | · BERLIN · BRUSSELS · CHICAGO AMSTERDAM ·BEIRUT · GENEVA · JOHANNESBURG · LONDON · LOS ANGELES · MOSCOW · · YORK · PARIS ·NEW NAIROBI SAN FRANCISCO · SÃO PAULO · STOCKHOLM · SYDNEY · TOKYO · TORONTO · WASHINGTON ·ZÜRICH

73 Code, the criminalization of adu contributes to a climate lt consensual same-sex conduct mon. This law fuels a tion against LGBT people is com in which violence and discrimina social environment in which there lesbian, bisexual and is pervasive violence against gender non-conforming women in the home and LGBT people more ge nerally in communities where they live. Furthermore, this law contributes significantly to a climate itted against LGBT people. of impunity for crimes comm , however, need to receive In order to incorporate your res ponse into our report, we would your response (in writing) by October 24, 2017. Please note tha t this is a draft copy, n November 2017. which is under embargo until a release date (to be announced) i We very much look forward to rece ining a constructive iving your response and mainta nt on the important matters dialogue with the Ghanaian governme and recommendations raised in the report. Sincerely yours, Graeme Reid Director, LGBT Rights Program HO O ” AM I 64 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

74 Annex 3: Response from Ghana Police Service 65 | R IGHTS W H UMAN J ANUARY 2018 ATCH

75 “N C HOICE BUT TO D ENY W O I AM ” 66 HO

76 67 ATCH UMAN R IGHTS H | J ANUARY 2018 W

77 th 350 Fifth Avenue, 34 Floor New York, NY 10118-3299 Tel: +1-212-290-4700 ;917 591 Fax: +1 - 212 - 736 3452 - - - 1300 Annex 4: Human Rights Watch letter to the Executive Director Kenneth Roth, Minister of Justice Deputy Executive Directors Michele Alexander, Development and Global Initiatives Nicholas Dawes, Media Program Iain Levine, Chuck Lustig, Operations Advocacy Bruno Stagno Ugarte, Emma Daly, Communications Director General Counsel Dinah PoKempner, Legal and Policy Director James Ross, October 11, 2017 Division and Program Directors Asia Brad Adams, Daniel Bekele, Africa United States Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, Honorable Minister Gloria Afua Akuffo United States Alison Parker, Americas José Miguel Vivanco, Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa Europe and Central Asia Hugh Williamson, P O Box MB60 Accra Disability Rights Shantha Rau Barriga, Emergencies Peter Bouckaert, Children’s Rights Zama Coursen-Neff, Richard Dicker, International Justice Tel: +233 30 266 5051 Bill Frelick, Refugees’ Rights Arvind Ganesan, Business and Human Rights Fax: +233 30 2667609 Liesl Gerntholtz, Women’s Rights Steve Goose, Arms acting, Health and Human Rights Diederik Lohman, , Graeme Reid Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights By email: [email protected] Advocacy Directors Brazil Maria Laura Canineu, Japan Kanae Doi, Dear Honorable Minister, John Fisher, United Nations, Geneva Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia France Bénédicte Jeannerod, I hope this letter finds you well. European Union Lotte Leicht, Washington, DC Sarah Margon, United Kingdom David Mepham, Wenzel Michalski, Germany our I am writing to present an advan ce and embargoed draft copy of Australia Elaine Pearson, report on the human rights s ituation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and Board of Directors Hassan Elmasry, Co-Chair transgender (LGBT) people in G hana, to be released in early Nov ember, Joel Motley, Co-Chair Wendy Keys, Vice-Chair espond ian government an opportunity to r in order to provide the Ghana Vice-Chair Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber, to our findings and recommendations . Our established practice i s to Sid Sheinberg, Vice-Chair John J. Studzinski, Vice-Chair submit our findings to authoritie s and institutions whose recor d is the Michael Fisch, Treasurer Bruce Rabb, Secretary of view to be for their information and point subject of the report in order Karen Herskovitz Ackman Akwasi Aidoo reflected in the reports we publish. Jorge Castañeda Michael E. Gellert Betsy Karel Robert Kissane tional human rights organizatio Human Rights Watch is an interna n that David Lakhdhir Kimberly Marteau Emerson We conducts research and advocacy in over 90 countries worldwide. Oki Matsumoto Joan R. Platt have documented violations of huma n rights in Ghana for many ye ars, Amy Rao Neil Rimer including the report Precious Metal, Cheap Labor: Child Labor and Graham Robeson Shelley Frost Rubin Corporate Responsibility in G published in hana's Artisanal Gold Mines Kevin P. Ryan Ambassador Robin Sanders June 2015. Bruce Simpson Donna Slaight Siri Stolt-Nielsen Darian W. Swig ine pth research in Ghana to exam Human Rights Watch conducted in-de Makoto Takano John R. Taylor sis of sexual orientation and human rights violations on the ba gender Amy Towers riminal act of section 104(1)(b) of the C identity and to assess the imp Peter Visser Marie Warburg ws that Code Act 29, 1960 on the lives of LGBT people. Our research sho Catherine Zennström O “N C HOICE BUT TO D ENY W HO I AM ” 68 ·NEW ANGELES · MOSCOW · · BERLIN · BRUSSELS · CHICAGO ·BEIRUT AMSTERDAM NAIROBI YORK · PARIS · · GENEVA · JOHANNESBURG · LONDON · LOS SAN ·ZÜRICH FRANCISCO · SÃO PAULO · STOCKHOLM · SYDNEY · TOKYO · TORONTO · WASHINGTON

78 the Criminal Code, the ecutions under this provision of despite the rare, if any, pros s to a climate in which sual same-sex conduct contribute criminalization of adult consen law fuels a social st LGBT people is common. This violence and discrimination again rvasive violence against lesbia n, bisexual and gender environment in which there is pe non-conforming women in the home and LGBT people more generally in communities where they live. Furthermore, thi s law contributes significantl y to a climate of impunity for crimes committed against LGBT people. , however, need to receive ponse into our report, we would In order to incorporate your res t this is a draft copy, by October 24, 2017. Please note tha your response (in writing) which is under embargo until a release date (to be announced) i n November 2017. ining a constructive iving your response and mainta We very much look forward to rece and recommendations dialogue with the Ghanaian governme nt on the important matters raised in the report. Sincerely yours, Graeme Reid Director, LGBT Rights Program 69 IGHTS H ANUARY UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

79 th Floor 350 Fifth Avenue, 34 New York, NY 10118-3299 Tel: +1-212-290-4700 Fax: +1 - 212 3452 - - 736 - 1300 ;917 - 591 Annex 5: Human Rights Watch Letter to Human Kenneth Roth, Executive Director Rights Commission and Administrative Justice Deputy Executive Directors Michele Alexander, Development and Global Initiatives Nicholas Dawes, Media Program Iain Levine, Operations Chuck Lustig, Advocacy Bruno Stagno Ugarte, October 11, 2017 Communications Director Emma Daly, Dinah PoKempner, General Counsel Legal and Policy Director James Ross, Dr. Isaac Annan Division and Program Directors Director: Human Rights Asia Brad Adams, Africa Daniel Bekele, Ghana Human Rights Commission Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, United States Alison Parker, United States Old Parliament House, High Street José Miguel Vivanco, Americas Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa Accra Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia Disability Rights Shantha Rau Barriga, Tel: +233 302-662150 Peter Bouckaert, Emergencies Children’s Rights Zama Coursen-Neff, Richard Dicker, International Justice Bill Frelick, Refugees’ Rights Arvind Ganesan, Business and Human Rights Women’s Rights Liesl Gerntholtz, By email: [email protected] Arms Steve Goose, acting, Health and Human Rights Diederik Lohman, Graeme Reid , Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Dear Dr. Annan, Advocacy Directors Maria Laura Canineu, Brazil Kanae Doi, Japan I hope this letter finds you well. John Fisher, United Nations, Geneva Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Bénédicte Jeannerod, France Lotte Leicht, European Union ce and embargoed draft copy of our I am writing to present an advan Sarah Margon, Washington, DC United Kingdom David Mepham, report on the human rights s ituation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and Germany Wenzel Michalski, Australia Elaine Pearson, hana, to be released in early Nov ember, transgender (LGBT) people in G Board of Directors espond in order to provide the Ghana ian government an opportunity to r Co-Chair Hassan Elmasry, Co-Chair Joel Motley, to our findings and recommendations . Our established practice i s to Wendy Keys, Vice-Chair submit our findings to authoritie s and institutions whose recor d is the Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber, Vice-Chair Vice-Chair Sid Sheinberg, of view to be for their information and point subject of the report in order John J. Studzinski, Vice-Chair Michael Fisch, Treasurer reflected in the reports we publish. Secretary Bruce Rabb, Karen Herskovitz Ackman Akwasi Aidoo Jorge Castañeda n that Human Rights Watch is an interna tional human rights organizatio Michael E. Gellert Betsy Karel We conducts research and advocacy in over 90 countries worldwide. Robert Kissane David Lakhdhir have documented violations of huma n rights in Ghana for many ye ars, Kimberly Marteau Emerson Oki Matsumoto including the report Precious Metal, Cheap Labor: Child Labor and Joan R. Platt Amy Rao hana's Artisanal Gold Mines Corporate Responsibility in G published in Neil Rimer Graham Robeson June 2015. Shelley Frost Rubin Kevin P. Ryan Ambassador Robin Sanders Bruce Simpson Human Rights Watch conducted in-de pth research in Ghana to exam ine Donna Slaight Siri Stolt-Nielsen sis of sexual orientation and human rights violations on the ba gender Darian W. Swig riminal identity and to assess the imp act of section 104(1)(b) of the C Makoto Takano John R. Taylor Code Act 29, 1960 on the lives of LGBT people. Our research sho ws that Amy Towers Peter Visser the Criminal despite the rare, if any, pros ecutions under this provision of Marie Warburg Catherine Zennström O “N C HOICE BUT TO D ENY W HO I AM ” 70 ·NEW ANGELES · MOSCOW · · BERLIN · BRUSSELS · CHICAGO ·BEIRUT AMSTERDAM NAIROBI YORK · PARIS · · GENEVA · JOHANNESBURG · LONDON · LOS SAN ·ZÜRICH FRANCISCO · SÃO PAULO · STOCKHOLM · SYDNEY · TOKYO · TORONTO · WASHINGTON

80 contributes to a climate lt consensual same-sex conduct Code, the criminalization of adu mon. This law fuels a tion against LGBT people is com in which violence and discrimina is pervasive violence against social environment in which there lesbian, bisexual and nerally in gender non-conforming women in the home and LGBT people more ge communities where they live. Furthermore, this law contributes significantly to a climate of impunity for crimes comm itted against LGBT people. , however, need to receive In order to incorporate your res ponse into our report, we would your response (in writing) t this is a draft copy, by October 24, 2017. Please note tha n November 2017. which is under embargo until a release date (to be announced) i We very much look forward to rece ining a constructive iving your response and mainta and recommendations nt on the important matters dialogue with the Ghanaian governme raised in the report. Sincerely yours, Graeme Reid Director, LGBT Rights Program 71 IGHTS H ANUARY UMAN R W ATCH | J 2018

81 Annex 6: Terminology Used in Ghana Kojo Besi / A Twu term which describes a man who does not conform to Kwadwo Besia typical masculinity. Ntowbea Akan terms from Akwapim area, meaning Ntow (boy), bea n is a term which describes a (feminine or woman). Translatio feminine boy. Ga term for masculine woman. Li terally translated ‘man/woman’. Nuu-Yoo Can be a positive term or derogatory. Yoo-fem Ga term for ‘doing woman’, a male who is considered woman-like. A non-derogatory term. Ga term for ‘doing man’, a female Nuu-Feem who is considered man-like. A non-derogatory term. Obarima Akan for male. Obaa Akan for female. A Twi/Ga term to describe sa Supi me sex relationships between rogatorily to describe a woman women. May also be used to de who is seen as masculine. Sasso A more recent community develope d term for ‘gay’ which also may be used to substitute kojo besia. This term means peers in Ga/Twi. A non-derogatory term. Source: CEPEHRG & Global Forum on MSM & HIV, Documentation of LGBTIQ Human Rights Abuses in Ghana: A 2015 Community Led Documentation Project HO O ” AM I 72 W ENY D HOICE BUT TO C “N

82 t A N o C h o i c e b u t “ o D e n y W h o I m ” a n a h G n i e l p o e p T B G L t s n i a g a n V i o l e n c e a n d D i s c r i m i n a t i o Ghana has a mixed record in its treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Ghanaian officials have publicly supported an end to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but fail to repeal the law that contributes to d iscrimination. Section 104(1)(b) of its Criminal Offences Act criminalizes “unnatural carnal knowledge.” The law is a colonial l egacy that is rarely, if ever, enforced, and unlike several of its neighbors, Ghana has not taken steps in recent years to stiffen penalties against consensual same-sex conduct or to expressly criminalize sexual relations between women. Nevertheless, the inference that Section 104(1)(b) criminalizes adult consensual same-sex conduct contributes to a climate in which LGBT people are very frequently victims of violence, extortion and discrimination in many different aspects of daily life, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. “No Choice but to Deny Who I Am” Based on 114 interviews with LGBT people in Accra, Tamale, Kumasi, and Cape Coast, found that section 104(1)(b) fuels violence against lesbian, bisexual and gender non-conforming women in the home and LGBT people more generally in communities where they live. The report also found that, homophobic statements by local and national government officials, local traditional elders, and senior religious leaders foment homophobia and in some cases, incite violence. Human Rights Watch calls on the Parliament of Ghana to repeal Section 104(1)(b), and on the government of Ghana to adopt measures to monitor and report on hate speech and to protect LGBT persons from all forms of discrimination, intimidation and violence. Ghanaian authorities should also engage in a constructive dialogue with the LGBT population to better understand its needs – with a particular focus on addressing the intersecting forms of discrimination that affect lesbian and bisexual women -- and ensure that the necessary legislative and policy measures are taken to ensure their safety, dignity, and equality. A young lesbian woman at an LGBT community center in Accra, Ghana. 2017 Human Rights Watch r g r o . w h

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