Journalists urged to protect rights of lesbians and homosexuals

Kumasi- Journalists have been urged to help protect and defend the fundamental human rights and freedoms of lesbians and homosexuals, as enshrined in the 1992 constitution.

Mr. William Nyarko, the Executive Director of the Africa Center for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), an NGO, said the Constitution guarantees the rights and freedoms of every Ghanaian including lesbians and homosexuals.

We must know how to separate the act from the rights, he stated, saying abusing the rights of lesbians and homosexuals was a breach of the supreme law of the land.

Mr. Nyarko gave the advice when interacting with Journalists at separate training workshops in Sunyani, and Kumasi, organised by ACILA, an organisation incorporated under the United States Law to advocate accountability and justice for victims of crimes.

Forty-five selected Journalists from Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions benefited from the training in Kumasi, whilst 30 news editors and radio presenters benefited from the Sunyani one.

The workshop was aimed at improving the reporting skills of the participants on human rights, and they were taken through topics such as international human rights conventions and key human rights abuses and discrimination.

Mr. Nyarko strongly condemned same sex marriage, which he said was against the Ghanaian culture, but added that lesbians and homosexuals also had the right to movement, life and to form association.

He underscored the need to empower and expose Journalists and media practitioners in general to basic human rights laws and conventions to enable them to serve as the voice for the voiceless.

Human rights abuse, Mr. Nyarko said remained a serious form of crime against humanity, hence the need for the media to be trained in the subject, in order not to use their pens and airwaves to stigmatise victims in the course of their constitutional duties.

ACILA, he added works to protect vulnerable people such as girls, women, children, albinos, lesbian, homosexuals and people with disabilities.

Source: Ghana News Agency