Ivory Coast: Humiliating and degrading treatment

(Aussi publié en français)

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Although there is no law against homosexuality in Ivory Coast, our correspondent informs us there has been an increase in homophobic attacks in recent months. On January 22 and 23, 2014, the headquarters of Alternative Côte d’Ivoire, an LGBT NGO fighting against AIDS, was attacked by a homophobic crowd of some sixty people.

Human rights defender, Mr. Jean Marc Yao , wrote a brief to the National Commission of Human Rights in Ivory Coast (CNDHCI) to outline numerous recent violations of human rights suffered by LGBT people. He asked the Commission for protection of LGBT persons. Mr. Yao delivered his brief directly to the CNDHCI on March 18, 2014.  He states :

Indeed, the rise in homophobia that we are witnessing in our country has recently expressed itself by physical attacks on LGBT people or people suspected of being LGBT as well as attacks on places frequented by the LGBT community. The ransacking and looting of the headquarters of Alternative Côte d’Ivoire, an NGO involved with the fight against AIDS among homosexuals is one example among many others . Madam President, I advise the CNDHCI of the particularly humiliating and degrading treatment suffered by transgender women and cross-dressing men. This violation of human rights is visible in a video currently circulating on social networks … I appeal to the CNDHCI to protect the human rights of LGBT people as legal authorities have failed to identify and punish the authors of the barbaric aggression demonstrated by the video…

The video shows soldiers tormenting and degrading a young transvestite man.  The video can be viewed here. (Warning: The video contains violent scenes with sexual aspects.)

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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