Posters said to identify two women as lesbians have been widely circulated in a suburb of Ghana’s capital Accra to help locals “hunt them down”.
According to Starr News, the posters include what appears to be a private selfie of the two women kissing in their bedroom.
The site said that youth in the shanty town of Teshie “have vowed to hunt down and bay for the blood of all lesbians, locally called ‘supi’ in the area.”
One of the women has reportedly laid a complaint with the police, saying that the photo was stolen from her cell phone.
“It has really affected me in the sense that anytime I go out there are people always pointing fingers at me. It makes me feel very uncomfortable. And my friends are also pointing hands at me anytime I go out,” one of the victims said.
“I can’t even have peace of mind to sleep because I’m always thinking they might barge into my room and might cause more harm to me.”
She added that her family are also fearful of a possible attack. “They are disappointed. They are also scared for their lives because I’m in the same house with them and when they come to cause more harm or to attack me, they might also be included.”
The posters were printed after residents disrupted a traditional healing ritual being performed by twin women for their ill mother.
The twins and their female friends, who were believed to be hosting a “lesbian birthday party”, had stones and human faeces thrown at them by angry neighbours.
The incident led to the formation of the vigilante youth group targeting lesbians and gays in the area.
The site posted an image of another threatening poster stuck onto a wall that reads:
“Big Warning. This is a serious warning to all lesbians and gay in Teshie. If we see any of this bad luck, people doing party or outdooring, what we did the first time would be small. Nobody should try this.”
The threats must be taken seriously. There have been a number of recent attacks or murders of people because of their suspected sexual orientation or gender identity by mobs in Ghana.
There were at least two violent incidents in the last month alone. In the first, a school pupil was killed by police after students rioted because they said that teachers were not clamping down on gay learners. Ghanaian music event promoter Kinto Rothmans was also brutally beaten by a mob over claims that he had sex with another man.
In May last year, there were reports that a group of youth in Accra killed a man they accused of being gay.
Gay sex is illegal in Ghana and carries a sentence of three years imprisonment.