Ethiopian authorities raid hotels over ‘gay sex tip-offs’ in anti-LGBTQ+ crackdown

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Ethiopian authorities are using tip-offs to raid hotels, bars and other entertainment venues where people have “disgusting” gay sex. 

Police in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, are reportedly working with the city’s Peace and Security Administration Office to crack down on “institutions suspected of committing homosexual acts in our city”.

In a Facebook post on Thursday (10 August), the Addis Ababa City Peace and Security Administration Bureau announced that it is “taking action” against venues based on tip-offs from the public. The post states that a guest house has already been raided and remains under investigation. 

Homosexuality is criminalised in Ethiopia with punishments of up to 15 years in prison.

“If there is any compassion on entertainment service institutions that commit and carry out this disgusting act that is hated by both men and God, it has stated that they will continue to take action in cooperation with the police,” the post reads. 

It called for Ethiopians to report homosexual activists to the nearest police station, adding that “the office has announced that it will continue to take consistent measures”. 

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LGBT advocacy group, House of Guramayle, has condemned the raids on social media while calling for all human rights bodies to demand protections for LGBTQ+ Ethiopians.

On X, formerly called Twitter, House of Guramayle “sounded the alarm” over the government’s crackdown on homosexuality resulting in an increase in violence against the LGBTQ+ community, both online and in person.

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The group said in a press release that Ethiopia was witnessing an “escalation in attacks on individuals in Ethiopia based on their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity”.

According to the group, this violence is exacerbated by TikTok, as the social media platform has failed to take down videos outing queer Ethiopians, and calling for LGBTQ+ people to be whipped, stabbed and killed.

House of Guramayle also called on social media platforms to improve their hate speech policies and promptly remove videos encouraging anti-LGBTQ+ violence in Ethiopian languages. 

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