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Friday, January 27, 2023

Man on the run

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Man on the run

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It could be recalled that Edward Bundu Bangura who has been identified as a gay in a party held at Lungi Lol, around 01:00am on Saturday 29th October 2016. However, he managed to escape from the community task forces on the same day. Ever since the aforementioned saga, Edward is on the run as a result of the fact that homosexuality has no space in the traditional practice of Sierra Leone.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Sierra Leone face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Male same-sex sexual activity (whether in public or private) is illegal in Sierra Leone and carries a possible penalty of life imprisonment (with hard labor), although this law is seldom enforced. Female same sex sexual activity is legal as oppose to male same sex affairs.

Ever since independence from England in 1961 (since 1808) the Sierra Leone government and society have preferred to deny the existence of lesbians and gay men.  But since the turn of the 21st century African homosexuality has become a flashpoint of conflict between old Biblical/Quranic colonial ideas and progressive human rights activism.

 Sierra Leone is no exception and today male same-sex sexual activity is illegal with possible life imprisonment as punishment. Social attitudes are hostile to homosexuality and cross-dressing because of religious beliefs. Most citizens subscribe to Christian or Muslim traditional gender roles and are expected to abstain from sexual activity outside of a traditional marriage. Nevertheless, in 2011, the first major study was conducted regarding homosexuality.

 

         

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