Nicola Sturgeon brings up Ghana’s gay rights record

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA
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Nicola Sturgeon raised concerns over Ghana’s controversial record on gay rights when she met with the African country’s President yesterday.

The First Minister met John Dramani Mahama after he attended First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood on a trip to promote trade. He received polite applause when introduced to MSPs.

A Government spokesman said Ms Sturgeon had a “positive and constructive” meeting. “The First Minister raised the importance of the Commonwealth values of humanity, equality and tolerance, and there was a specific discussion on LGBTI rights,” the spokesman said.

Amnesty International’s Scotland Programme Director, Naomi McAuliffe, said: “MSPs and opposition leaders who declined to meet President John Dramani Mahama at the Scottish Parliament did so due to Ghana’s poor record on human rights.

“Whilst we understand why they took this decision, we did not call for a boycott as this was an opportunity for the First Minister to raise some of our concerns.

“Gay and lesbian 
Ghanaians are at risk because consensual same-sex conduct is a criminal offence, and we have received reports that 
LGBTI people face police harassment.”