Sierra Leone Gay and Lesbian Rights Activist Murdered

A leading Sierra Leone gay and lesbian rights activist was found brutally murdered in her office. FannyAnn Eddy, the founder of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association and an activist known across Africa, was found raped and repeatedly stabbed to death, reports Human Rights Watch (HRW). There is concern amongst the human rights community that she was a victim of hatred.

According to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), Eddy “understood that freedom for women, particular lesbians, was related to their ability to provide for themselves economically,” and she “brought a level of courage, boldness and tenacity to her work that is rare even among human rights activists known for all three.” Eddy worked tirelessly with IGLHRC and HRW to advocate for the Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights in the United Nations.

The IGLHRC is investigating the details of her death and how the government and police responded. HRW is urging the Sierra Leone government to investigate Eddy’s murder fully and fairly to “send a message to a frightened lesbian and gay community that violence against them will not go unpunished.”

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Human Rights Watch 10/05/04; IGLHRC 10/04/04

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