Ghana court grants bail to 21 LGBT right activists


A Ghanaian court on Friday granted bail to 21 gay activists arrested three weeks ago for what police described as an unlawful gathering, according to local media.

Their lawyer moved to the Ho High Court to push for bail despite earlier attempts to get them out of police custody.

Each applicant was granted a ¢5,000 bail by the court presided over by His Lordship Justice Yaw Owoahene-Achwampong,reported Citi FM.

The 16 women and five men were told to reappear in court on June 16 for their next hearing.

LGBT people face widespread persecution in the West African nation, where gay sex is punishable with up to three years in jail.

The activists were picked up on May 20 at a hotel, police said in a statement at the time of their arrest. The statement accused them of having advocated LGBT activities with books and flyers with titles including “Coming out” and “All about Trans”.

But civil rights group like the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-GH) expressed outrage following their detention.

“Their arrest and subsequent mistreatment are, therefore, a clear violation of their constitutional right to freedom of assembly and association”, the CDD said.

“The occasional use of archaic colonial legal relics like Section 202 of Act 29 by the police to undermine constitutional rights, particularly the right to assemble, exposes the stagnation we continue to experience in efforts to promote and protect human rights in Ghana”, the statement added.

SOURCE: DAILY MAIL GH with additional files from REUTERS

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