Liberia: FHI360's 'Outing' Victim 'Attempts' Suicide

.... A month ago, Bropleh accused global health organization FHI360 of outing his HIV status when it published flyers across Liberia depicting him as living with HIV. 

Dominic Bropleh, the man who accused FHI360 of outing his HIV status  attempted committing suicide on yesterday’s evening, journalRAGE has gathered. 

Bropleh, according to sources on the scene, was found unresponsive near the bathroom with a ton of pills ranging from Omeprazole, Aspirin, Amoxicillin, Ampicilin-Cloaxcillin, etc. 

Bropleh was found by the ward of his friend whom he is temporarily lodging. The friend raised an alarm and Bropleh was rushed to a hospital.

journalRAGE’s reporters at the hospital could not confirm whether Bropleh is responding to treatment or not.  Sources on the grounds of the hospital say medical personnel on shift quickly began the administration of treatment to counter and undo the effects of the multiple pills that were reportedly swallowed by him. 

It is not clear what drove the 32-year-old to brazenly attempt suicide. Bropleh, in an eerie message to journalRAGE on Facebook on Tuesday, June 12 wrote, “Booko I’m tired I want to end this, I can’t face the shame and embarrassment anymore.”

Bropleh’s message was followed a day later with a Facebook status update: “When will all this end?

A month ago, Bropleh accused global health organization FHI360 of outing his HIV status when it published flyers across Liberia depicting him as living with HIV. 

According to the Liberian man who identifies with the LGBTQ+community, he agreed to do awareness for the organization on the condition that messages to be used for the campaign be crosschecked with him. 

However, he said the organization did not do so.

He said the action of the company placed his life in danger as it has kept him estranged from his family who are blaming his contraction of the virus on him being gay.  Bropleh said he reached out to FHI360 via its Technical Advisor, Cytirus Kerbay, to bring the organization’s attention to the calamity that had befallen him, but he was ignored repeatedly. 

He said he further reached out to some human rights organizations but none seemed interested in his plight, prompting him to go to the media. 

FHI360, following the publication of Bropleh’s story, expressed regret for the action of its Liberian team over his treatment by its staff. 

“He was not treated with the dignity and respect he deserved. We deeply regret that we felt short in meeting our commitment to safeguarding the people with whom we work.”

The organization in a statement to journalRAGE announced an immediate investigation into the incident. The status of its investigation is yet known. The organization also sent its safeguarding expert to Liberia to review its safeguarding procedures in the country. 

LGBTQI+ persons continued to record instances of assaults, stigmatization, discrimination, harassment, and hate speech by community members. The 2022 US State Department report on the country continues to highlight instances of assault and abuse against the LGBT community. 

In 2018, a newspaper in Liberia erroneously blamed the LGBT community for being the driving force behind the spread of HIV in the country. In 2014, another newspaper misrepresented the facts from a health survey report, claiming that gays were topping the charts in HIV contraction. 

In May 2021, members of a community watch team allegedly beat three men on suspicion they were gays in the Gobachop community of Paynesville. According to two of the survivors, the community watch members threatened the three men and assaulted them, rendering one of the men unconscious.

In June 2021, Nuchie Michael, a teenager and a student at the St. Matthew United Methodist School in New Kru Town was expelled for cross-dressing. In 2020, Cheeseman Cole, a disgraced ex-soldier from the Armed Forces of Liberia was arrested for reportedly brutalizing 27 men suspected of being gay

In November 2019, partygoers were stoned and beaten over suspicions they were attending a gay wedding at an event hosted by Population Services International (PSI).In September 2018, invitees at a PSI event in Sinkor were attacked and severely brutalized.  The LGBT community faces worse discrimination as they are often blamed by religious leaders for spreading deadly diseases in the country.