Sierra Leone LGBTI activists suffer after radio appearance

Published: November 13, 2011

WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com West Africa Regional Director, George Reginald Freeman was invited for a radio discussion program on Tuesday November 8 2011, at Radio Democracy FM 98.1, Freetown, Sierra Leone at 7:30 a.m. on the program titled “Good Morning Sierra Leone” and was repeated on the same radio frequency at 9:00 p.m. on the program titled “We Tin Dae Bi meaning What is Happening?”. The interview was conducted by Ahmed Sesay.

During the interview, George Reginald Freeman threw light on the acceptance of the Nigeria same gender bill saying that, WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com as an organization has been a vital partner to the campaign in Nigeria as we took active part in the signing of the petition on the internet. As the conversation continued, George talked about mission, vision and objectives of WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com in Sierra Leone, which involves advocating for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) rights and access to healthcare facilities in relation to HIV and AIDS services.

In the program was also invited Mr. Henry Sheku, Communication Officer of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL), who said that, “the Commission is not working on LGBTI human rights, because the law of Sierra Leone does not give the Commission mandate to advocate and support LGBTI human rights”.

As the interview continued, the journalist asked what role Sierra Leone must play towards the Nigerian Same Gender Bill; George responded that Sierra Leone must be 100% supportive, because the LGBTI human rights are fundamental rights. Towards the end of the radio program, most of the people sent several discriminatory text messages; and very few supportive. For example:

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