The mass shooting in Pulse Gay Club, Florida by the US citizen, Omar Mateen on June 12 which claimed lives of 50 and injured 53 is no new News as it was recognized as one of the deadliest massacre and Ofcourse ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attack.
But currently, several gay men in Ivory Coast say they have been assaulted and force to flee their homes after the US embassy, Abidjan published a Photograph of them signing a condolence book for the gay victims of the Orlando Shooting.
The Photo was published on the Embassy’s website and subsequently shared on social media platforms, it showed 6 men and captioned “LGBTI community signing the condolence book”
AP spoke to four of them who requested anonymity, Two said they’ve been attacked by mobs while others said family pressure had made them flee from their homes.
Homosexuality is reported legal in the Ivory Coast but despite the Legal rights, the LGBTI community risk harassment and discrimination in the Ivory Coast and Transsexuals are often victims of sexual abuse.
The US embassy spokeswoman Elizabeth Ategou said the embassy deeply regrets that any gay individual was harassed or attacked as it was their intention. She added that the men were notified before their photos were published.
Although The men deny the Agency never asked, but the embassy had contacted the heads of the Ivory Coast organization that advocates for human right of Transgender, Bisexual and Homosexual people in Ivory Coast and they have approved the request.
The US embassy has strengthen ties with the country’s LGBT activists following the current US President administration memorandum in 2011 that empowered “all agencies engaged abroad” to protect and promote the human rights of sexual minorities.