29 January 2014

Cote d'Ivoire: Activists in Hiding After Wave of Homophobic Attacks

press release

Authorities in Côte d'Ivoire must urgently investigate the unprecedented wave of homophobic attacks in Abidjan, which has forced many HIV workers to go into hiding, Amnesty International said.

"The only way to stop the unprecedented homophobic witch-hunt taking place in Côte d'Ivoire is for the authorities to investigate the attacks and bring those responsible to justice. Failing to do that will only lead for more violence," said Gaëtan Mootoo, West Africa researcher at Amnesty International.

On 25 January 2014, the office of Alternative Côte d'Ivoire - an organization working for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex people (LGBTI) living with HIV -- was ransacked by a mob of around 200 people. Computers were stolen and the security officer was beaten so badly he required medical treatment.

When members of the organization contacted the police they were accused of being homosexuals and working as pimps and told that the police had more important work to do.

Earlier last week, an angry mob threw rocks and garbage at the Alternative Côte d'Ivoire office in Abidjan. The building walls were daubed with graffiti saying "Non aux pédés (No to fags)".

On 20 January, the house of the Director of Alternative Côte d'Ivoire, Claver Touré, was attacked in the area of Angré in Abidjan. A member of the security forces was reportedly among the attackers.

Several people working in the organization are now in hiding in fear of further attacks.

Alternative Côte d'Ivoire is an officially registered organization that works closely with the Ministry of Health.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 Amnesty International. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.