Image via Flickr Creative Commons.

Security Forces in Ghana Shut Down LGBT Rights Group's Office

Security Forces in Ghana Target New LGBT Rights Group Centre

LGBT+ Rights Ghana's new centre has reportedly been raided by Ghana's National Security just a month after it officially opened. The centre has closed out of concerns for safety as it continues to be the subject of intimidation.

According to several reports, the offices of prominent queer rights group LGBT+ Rights Ghana have been raided by the country's security forces. The rights group alleges that the move comes after both politicians and religious leaders called for its closure since the centre's opening just a month ago. Subsequently, the centre has preemptively closed out of concern for the safety of its members.

READ: This Organization Fighting for LGBT Rights is Being Backed by the Commonwealth Foundation

According to Al Jazeera, LGBT+ Rights Ghana group commented saying, "This morning, our office was raided by National Security," and going on to add that, "At this moment, we no longer have access to our safe space and our safety is being threatened. A few days ago, traditional leaders threatened to burn down our office but the police did not help."

The centre was officially opened January 31st of this year in Accra, Ghana. However, foreign diplomats including a delegation from the European Union, received backlash for attending the opening of the centre.

Ghana, like many other countries across the world, remains discriminatory towards members of the LGBT community. While countries like Angola and Botswana have made major strides in decriminalising same-sex relationships, homosexuality is still illegal in Ghana with queer people being frequently targeted and left without opportunity for recourse.

As if the continued homophobia across various African countries weren't enough, far-right organisations from the West, such as the World Congress of Families, are actively propagating homophobic narratives in West Africa. Additionally, the Ghanaian media has been accused of being complicit in the stirring up of anti-LGBT sentiments.

Many have come out on social media to condemn the targeting of the rights group in addition to expressing support for the LGBT community overall.

Photo courtesy of Kunjina

Spotlight: Ethiopian Brand Kunjina Is On a Fashion Metamorphosis

Founder and creative director Kunjina Tesfaye speaks on her namesake brand, and how her personal evolution manifests through the unique garments.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists, and more who are producing vibrant, original work.

In our latest piece, we spotlight Ethiopian fashion brand, Kunjina. The Addis Ababa based label focuses on ready-to-wear fashion and empowering woman through their garments and designs. Creator Kunjina Tesfaye established the brand in 2017 in her home country Ethiopia, and has since shared her distinctive designs with the world. Each garment acts as a physical embodiment of Kunjina's life experiences, and the stages we all go through to become closer to ourselves. "When the work comes from a personal place, it portrays a true feeling therefore the output becomes Authentic", the young designer says on the website. Each garment is carefully and intentionally created, as the company prides themselves on their choice to reduce unnecessary waste -- often times what happens with brands focused on trends.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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