Gay Youth Escapes Death from Assailants

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Safuneh Idrissa Kanu

By Abdul Rahman Kamara

Reports reaching this medium from Central Freetown, in the Mount Aureol area, revealed that a young man by the name of Safuneh Idrissa Kanu of 39B Bethem Lane, narrowly escaped death at the hands of his assailants, who were determined to lynch him for being an homosexual. His whereabouts, as we go to Press is unknown.

According to a close friend of Safuneh, who spoke to this writer on condition of anonymity, Police had earlier arrested Safuneh for practicing homosexuality and when released, he was under surveillance by the Police and members in the community. His friend further explained that during his arrest, Safuneh debunked all allegations that he was gay and was only released as no tangible evidence was discovered.

It was also disclosed that Safuneh was in the comp-any of some youths believed to be practicing gay and was seen hanging out most times with them.    This led to more suspicion that he is practicing gay under cover. The community and other anti-gay activists then mounted secret investigations into his activities with those youths and when it was clear that he was actually a gay, they ambushed him on the way to his house up the hill, armed with sticks and other weapons. He managed to escape from them and went into hiding.

Safuneh was caught between two evils, making a statement to the Police about the attack will eventually land him in prison, or staying at home will mean death as his assailants kept coming to his house and issuing threats against his family if he is harboured there. Since his disappearance on 21st June 2019, his whereabouts are not known and according to Police sources, he has been declared wanted.

It should be noted that in Sierra Leone, same sex relationship is frowned upon and is illegal, according to the laws of the land. Whilst various moves had been taken to get the various Governments to recognise same sex relationship; both religious and traditional beliefs have prevented any Government from taking that step. It is therefore a taboo to talk about it let alone engage in such acts. Anyone engaged in such an act is disowned by their families and society and are hunted down. They could not report any case of harassment or threat to their lives to the Police as they will be arrested or left in the hands of their assailants.

Meanwhile, all efforts by family members to locate the missing young man proved futile. They are still being harassed by the community residents and threatened to tell their son whenever they see him that he will face the wrath of the people.

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