Young Ghanaian government-backed anti-gay organization has reportedly been helping to halt gay rights efforts

Ghana has drawn on its extensive experience of navigating HIV and AIDS in the region as it takes a harder line on homosexuality. But a new U.S.-funded anti-gay advocacy group that calls itself Youth Zone has reportedly been working with the government to support a broader crackdown.

In an interview with a local newspaper last week, a youth worker with Youth Zone said he supported a revised police code that would impose heavy penalties on sexual conduct between men and said “life will never be the same again for us.”

Youth Zone is funded through the African-American Christian conservative group Concerned Women for America and has previously had contacts with cabinet ministers, according to the Nation newspaper.

Efforts to contact Youth Zone were unsuccessful, but President Nana Akufo-Addo has been quoted as saying that the group does not “understand Ghanaian culture” and “do not appreciate the effect of their actions on many young people.”

Since the arrest of 40 suspected gay men last year, police have warned that a new “execution-style” sting operation is due in February. Campaigners have called for a recount of evidence to prove the legitimacy of many of the initial cases, and some local gay publications, which had their publishing licenses revoked in August, allege that police had arrested men who were not actually gay.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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