Hamid Bangura Escapes Lynching By Secret Society Members

Information reaching this press reveals that one Hamid Bangura, a resident of Makeni, narrowly escaped death at the hands of members of a Secret Society, after he was alleged to have set fire to the society shrine.
According to sources close to Hamid, he was identified as gay by family members and has been targeted by youths in his community and attacked on several occasions by the youths and left for dead. He is said to have managed to took himself to a hospital at Port Loko, in North-Western Sierra Leone.
According to a family source, Hamid was discovered to be gay at the early age of 18, and his partner then, Mohamed, was banned from coming near him by his parents. In 2013, Hamid is said to have been provided with a wife by his father, as a means of getting him to behave like a man (by then he was 21 years old). Unfortunately, family members say that he disappeared shortly after the said marriage. After a year, he was discovered by his father, who again married another woman for him, on the belief that his son did not fancy the last wife he got for him. Hamid is said to have again disappeared from the family and came to Freetown. Whilst in Freetown, he met a friend who recommended that he goes to Port Loko and stay with one of his friends, one ‘Daddy’. Daddy is said to be an advocate for same sex, but had been doing so underground for fear of being lynched if discovered.
Whilst in Port Loko, Hamid is said to have joined an organisation, Diginity Association, an organisation that deals with gay and same sex people, and was part of a team of volunteers distributing condoms to people known to be gay or lesbians, albeit secretly. He was recognized by the organisation and registered as a member. It was disclosed that during that period in Port Loko, he met with a Canadian-Cameroonian, Mike Williams, who was working for an international organisation, who was also gay. They both became friends and later partners in sex.
It was also disclosed that around 4am New Year’s mid night of 2016, they spent the time at a festival held at the National Stadium, known as ‘Tangains’, an annual event that lasts for a month till the new year. Whilst enjoying time together, they were spotted by some youths, who saw them in a compromising position. They were then attacked by the youths and severely beaten, and was later hospitalized. On 14th February of 2014, the birthday of his partner, Mike, they went to a party that was held in honour of his friend, there again they were caught frolicking, and were again beaten. It was disclosed by one of Hamid’s friends that on one occasion, whilst Hamid and his partner were buying fuel in Port Loko, they were attacked by some youths who had seen them before, among who was one youth known by the nick name of ‘Rambo’, who is said to have stabbed him on the head. He was taken to the police and then to the hospital. At the police station, Hamid is said to have reported that he was attacked by some youths and some valuables stolen from him, but did not disclose that the youths had attacked him because they had known that he and his partner were gay and lovers, as gay is unlawful in the country, and a suspect will spend life imprisonment if caught.
Family sources say that the father then took Hamid after his recovery, to a secret society bush in Makeni, Northern Sierra Leone, for traditional treatment to get him off the practice of gay and change his sexual orientation. Whilst at the society shrine, it was disclosed that he vehemently opposed the treatment administered to him by the members of the society, and had attempted to escape on several occasions, to no avail.
However, on one fateful day, whilst at the shrine, fire is reported to have gutted the whole shrine, due to a farmer burning his farm for the planting season, which fire got out of control and hit the nearby society bush, damaging everything. Hamid is said to have escaped in the confusion that ensued, and family sources say that members of the society have been searching for him, and threats have been made against him.
According to the family, members of the secret society have, on several occasions, stormed their residence unannounced in search of Hamid, whom they accused of burning down their sacred shrine, and have threatened to kill him when found. Some of the youths who were also members of the society, are also determined to find and kill him, as such practice is described as demonic and a taboo. As we go to press, the whereabouts of Hamid is yet unknown.

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