An angry mob has stormed the headquarters of Ivory Coast’s most prominent gay-rights organisation, ransacking it and pelting office windows with stones, an official has said.
Claver Toure, the group’s executive director, said nearly 200 people on Saturday stormed the offices of Alternative Cote d’Ivoire in Abidjan, the commercial capital, and made off with computers.
The attack happened in a West African nation generally viewed as moderate and sometimes considered a safe haven for homosexuals fleeing persecution elsewhere.
The Associated Press news agency said the raid, which followed many days of anti-gay protests, underscored the dangers facing gay-rights movements in Africa even in the few countries where homosexual acts are not illegal.
Others heaved sacks of garbage over the property’s exterior walls and scattered trash and broken glass at the entrance, according to the AP.
Signs hung on walls demanded “Stop the homos!” and “Pedes get out!” “Pede” is short for pedophile and commonly used in West Africa to insult gay men.
“Everything they could take was taken, and the rest was broken,” Toure said, adding that a private security guard was taken to hospital after sustainingwounds to his face.