By Foday Moriba Conteh
The disturbing trend of isolated physical attacks against individuals perceived to be gay continues unabated in Sierra Leone, with the recent case of Mohamed Kallon shedding light on the issue.
Reports indicate that Mohamed Kallon, residing in Kenema District, Eastern Province, has faced severe intimidation and harassment from both family members and the community. Accused of practicing homosexuality, Kallon is now declared wanted by the Sierra Leone Police, with community stakeholders and youths conducting a relentless search.
Hailing from an Islamic background, Kallon’s alleged actions have shocked his community, known for its religious values. National and religious laws in Sierra Leone strictly prohibit such practices, leading community members to express disappointment at Kallon’s perceived deviation from customs and traditions.
An investigation by The Calabash Newspaper reveals that Mohamed Kallon was married to Mariatu Kamara, but suspicions arose when he spent more time with his male counterpart than his wife. The discovery of his alleged relationship with a male partner prompted Mariatu Kamara to report him to family members, causing distress within the family.
On May 8, 2022, Mariatu Kamara caught Mohamed Kallon in a compromising situation with his male partner in an unfinished building. In response, she attacked him, leading to a clash and Kallon’s subsequent escape.
Mariatu reported the incident to the Kenema Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID), resulting in a search for Kallon by armed police officers.
Facing both community hostility and a police search, Mohamed Kallon decided to flee the country to an undisclosed location. Despite the stigma and police declaring him wanted, Kallon’s current whereabouts remain unknown.
Family members express serious concerns about his safety, emphasizing the ongoing challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals in Sierra Leone.