Idris Elba and Naomi Campbell slam Ghana over gay rights

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LONDON, March 1, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – Actor Idris Elba and supermodel Naomi
Campbell were among signatories of an open letter published Monday
criticising Ghana’s stance on gay rights.

Ghanaian security forces last month raided and shut down the office of an
LGBT rights group in the capital Accra after politicians and religious
leaders called for its closure.

Some 67 celebrities and politicians, many of them British-Ghanaian, said
they were disturbed by the developments as they addressed LGBT campaigners in
the country.

The 2015 film “Beasts of No Nation”, in which Elba starred, was shot in
Ghana’s Eastern Region, and his mother was born in the West African country.

“We have watched with profound concern as you have had to question the
safety of your vital work at the LGBT+ Rights Ghana Centre in Accra, and
feared for your personal wellbeing and security. It is unacceptable to us
that you feel unsafe,” the letter said.

“As prominent and powerful advocates for this great country, we are
beseeching His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and political/cultural leaders to create a pathway for
allyship, protection and support.

“We petition for inclusivity which will make the nation even greater and
even stronger,” it added.

Gay sex is a criminal offence in Ghana and members of the LGBT community
face widespread discrimination.

Foreign diplomats in the country came under fire after some attended the
opening of the centre on January 31.

Ghana’s minister-designate for gender, children and social protection,
Sarah Adwoa Safo, said last month that “the issue of the criminality of LGBT
is non-negotiable and our cultural practices also frown on it”.

There is no legislation in Ghana explicitly prohibiting homosexuality but
gay sex bears a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.