By Ibrahim Kamara
Lesbians, Gay, Bisexuals, Transgender and Intersex activities are considered to be forbidden in both the Holy Quran and the Bible, it is therefore prohibited by Muslims and Christians in Sierra Leone and Africa as a whole. In Sierra Leone LGBTI activities are considered to be state crime, so practitioners have little or no protection from the law, despite pressure from few Civil Rights Activists and Media Houses, which also become targeted by communities for their stance.
Reports reaching this media reveal that Lamin Sillah, residing at Kingtom, a suspected gay young man, has become the latest victim of mob justice, and is said to have narrowly escaped an attack from his Foster parents and community people, including arrest and imprisonment at the country’s central correctional center at Pademba Road.
This medium learnt that Lamin Sillah was born to a Muslim father and Christian mother, but his father was killed during the 11 years Rebel war, and the mother died in 2011, when Sillah was just a small boy. He was then entrusted to his Uncle, who happened to be a second Muzaim (Imam) in a small Mosque (Masjid) at kingtom in Freetown.
Close family sources revealed to this medium that Sillah on August 12, 2016, was caught red-handed, having sex with another male friend, known as Peter, after they went to the end of year School party organized by School Authorities.
Mohamed Fallah, a friend of Sillah, explained that after the Party, Sillah and Peter decided to go home at about 12:30Am (13 August, 2016). He furthered that when he expressed the desire to follow them, both Sillah and Peter objected.
Fallah said he was not surprised with such news, based on the fact that Peter and Sillah are too close even at school, they hardly allow us to approach them, even though we are all friends.
He narrated that Lamin informed his relative about the School party and he was given permission to go, but was surprised when a group of angry youth and one Mr. Francis, who claimed to be Peter’s father, stormed our house that morning, narrating what happened at his residence. Mr. Francis said Sillah was able to escape from his hands through the help of his son, and threatened to report him to the police, adding that youths in the community are also desperately looking for him.
This was very embarrassing to Sillah’s uncle, who initially denied that Sillah cannot engage in such immoral act, especially being a child who grew up in a humble Islamic home. Unfortunately, some close family members then made startling revelations to the uncle that Peter was engaged in such acts, which they describes as unholy, since early childhood stage, and those who were privy to this practice by Peter were afraid to reveal same to the uncle, because of the repercussions, which will be far reaching and would invite community on-slaught on his life, and they also sympathised with his condition of being an orphan, our sources explained.
Resident in the kingtom community in Hennessy Street and Byrne street expressed dissatisfaction over the gay activities of Sillah, with accusations that Sillah had been trying to convince other youths in the community to join in the practice.
Mrs. Mansaray says she was always warning his son not to have anything to do with him, after she suspected that Sillah was involved in such an immoral act with Peter.
This medium contacted Sillah’s Uncle, who confirmed to us that he does not in any way want to see or hear about Lamin.
“He has brought disgrace to my family, and now I have been suspended from leading prayers in the mosque. This has never happened to me in my entire life. I have made a report against him to the police and I don’t want to see him anywhere near my house. I decided to help him because of my late brother, but he turned out to bring disgrace to me,” the Uncle said in anger.
Our reporter further contacted Mr. Francis who happens to be Peter’s father, but he declined to comment on the issue.
As we go to press, the whereabout of both Sillah and Peter are still unknown for over a month month now.
The case of Sillah and Peter is just few of those that catches the attention of the media of the plight of LGBTI victims in Sierra Leone, both male and female have been discriminated against, denied medical attention, raped, threatened and sometimes physically assaulted by family and community members. Some have died from their injuries, or during attacks by community people, but no action has been taken by the police. Those who are fortunate to survive, serve long prison sentences.