Human Rights Watch, a rights advocacy organisation, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP) demanding protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Ghana.
The US-based organization wants David Asante-Appeatu to ensure that the fundamental human rights of LGBTs in the country are safeguarded at all times.
Human Rights Watch this week published a report claiming widespread abuse, discrimination and violence against gays and lesbians living in Ghana.
The non-governmental organisation, in the report, blamed the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 for the abuses and discrimination against homosexuals in Ghana.
The organisation’s Programme Director for LGBT Rights, Graeme Reid, recently said on Joy FM’s Newsnite that the law contributes to a climate of human rights abuses in the country.
The Criminal Offences Act also makes it difficult for LGBT people to report cases of discrimination and abuse to the police, making them second-class Ghanaians, he added.
The Police in their written response to the petition observed that officers are taught to know the fundamental human rights guaranteed by the constitution for every citizen and by extension, crime committed against LGBT people.
The Police say they have observed and applied and will continue to apply the provisions on equality, human dignity and non-discrimination as captured in the constitution.
The police also charged victims of crimes of LGBT to report any case of abuse of their human rights; adding that “the Police going forward will adopt more proactive steps and pragmatic approaches to ensure the protection for LGBT individuals”.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said Ghana could change its laws banning homosexuality if there is enough public pressure.
This stance by the President has received a backlash from the generally homophobic Ghanaian public who say the President is secretly pushing a pro-LGBT agenda.
The President’s backers believe his remark is most appropriate.