Disturbing news from the West African nation of Sierra Leone. The nation's most prominent LGBT rights activist says he narrowly escaped death after two men attacked him while he was driving his car, reports Africa Review.
George Reginald Freeman, executive director of Pride Equality, had his car destroyed as he was being beaten by two men on a motor bike who intercepted him while driving in an isolated suburb of the capital, Freetown. The incident happened on the same day a local tabloid, Exclusive Newspaper, exposed his sexual orientation. ...
[Freeman] said he was driving to a local hotel where he had intended to pass the night as a precautionary measure against a possible attack when he was confronted by his assailants. "I was afraid that an attack was imminent and I thought the best move was to stay away from my apartment," he said.
He was half way through his destination when a motorbike rider suddenly appeared in front of him. At the same time a second one appeared on the driver`s side and threw a heavy stone his way. The glass on both sides of his car windows was shattered. As he attempted to escape, he was intercepted and beaten up, with his attackers using broken glasses and sharp metal objects.
The tabloid headline was "I was Born Gay." Freeman says the article was "not new" and was first published by the UK-based MTV Voices last July. "Very few Sierra Leoneans took note of it" at the time, adds the report.
George Freeman made international news in November 2011 after a radio talk show. Freeman and two other LGBT activists were reportedly kicked out of their homes, and received threatening phone calls and text messages.
Male same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Sierra Leone. The punishment could be life imprisonment. Same-sex acts are currently illegal in at least 38 of 54 African countries. Four nations—Mauritania, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan—boast the death penalty for gays or same-sex activity. South Africa and Seychelles are the only African nations that protect LGBT rights. South Africa is the only African nation to guarantee equal marriage.