Lesbian activist, Fannyann Eddy remembered

Candlelight vigil and wreath-laying

November 15, 2004

Sixty LGBT activists gathered in London to condemn the brutal slaying of Fannyann Eddy – Photo Chris Houston, � 2004 OutRage!
LONDON — The murdered leader of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association (SLLAGA), Fannyann Eddy, 30, was honoured at a candlelight vigil and wreath laying outside the Sierra Leone High Commission in London on Tuesday 9 November 2004.

Sixty LGBT activists gathered to condemn her brutal slaying. They called on the Sierra Leone government to bring her killers to justice and to end the persecution of LGBT people in the West African nation.

Fannyann Eddy was raped, stabbed and had her neck broken on the night of 28/29 September 2004 by assailants who broke into SLLAGA�s office in Freetown.

�Fannyann Eddy was a beautiful woman and human being, a wonderful partner and mother, a courageous lesbian campaigner and a hero of the unfinished African liberation struggle,� Peter Tatchell of the queer human rights group OutRage! told the mourners.

�She fought for queer freedom under conditions of great adversity and persecution that none of us will ever know or experience.

�Her battle for lesbian and gay liberation in Sierra Leone is a continuation of the African liberation movement that began with the battles against colonialism and for national liberation.

�The best way we can honour Fannyann is by supporting the many other African LGBT campaigners fighting homophobic oppression in countries like Uganda, Zambia, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Egypt, Namibia and Kenya.

�They need our solidarity. Don�t wait until they are dead like Fannyann. Act now to ensure they win queer liberation for all of Africa�s LGBT people.

�Fannyann fought for queer human rights, despite threats and great personal danger. Thanks to her efforts, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people in Sierra Leone have begun to achieve visibility. She helped lay the foundation for queer human rights in Sierra Leone,� Mr Tatchell added.

Fannyann made a submission last April to the UN Committee on Human rights at the Geneva, which discussed the Brazilian Resolution. This resolution would have acknowledged sexual orientation as a legitimate human right. In her impassioned presentation she highlighted the vigilante violence and State-sponsored oppression that lesbian and gay people face in many parts of Africa.

�We face constant harassment and violence from neighbours and others. Their homophobic attacks go unpunished by authorities, further encouraging their discriminatory and violent treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," Fannyann told the Committee.

"Silence creates vulnerability. You, members of the Commission on Human Rights, can break the silence. You can acknowledge that we exist, throughout Africa and on every continent, and that human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity are committed every day. You can help us combat those violations and achieve our full rights and freedoms, in every society, including my beloved Sierra Leone," she added. – Issued by OutRage!

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