World

21 people arrested in Ghana for attending LGBT+ rights training session

Lily Wakefield May 22, 2021
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The national flag of Ghana, where being LGBT+ is heavily criminalised.

LGBT+ rights are heavily suppressed in Ghana. (Creative Commons)

In further hostility against queer folk in Ghana, 21 people were arrested for meeting at a hotel to discuss LGBT+ rights.

The arrests were made on Friday (21 May), after the 16 women and five men met at a hotel for nurses and midwives in the southeastern city of Ho.

Local LGBT+ rights group Rightify Ghana said the meeting was a training event, teaching queer people to document and report human rights violations being experienced by LGBT+ Ghanaians.

Rightify Ghana added that a group of journalists had stormed the meeting, detaining attendees until police arrived.

 

According to Reuters, police insisted the group had gathered to “promote” for LGBT+ activities after leaflets titled “coming out” and “all about trans” were discovered at the meeting.

The 21 people are currently being held in custody, and have had a court dates set for 4 June.

Ghana’s Police Command said in a statement that it “assures the public of its resolve to get to the bottom of this issue whilst also cautioning the public, particularly parents, to be wary of activities of persons involved in this misbehaviour and report them to the police”.

The LGBT+ community in Ghana, where gay sex is illegal, has in the first few months of 2021, suffered increasing hostility from the state.

In February, the group LGBT+ Rights Ghana was subjected to an unlawful police raid at its office – supported by the building’s landlord as well as national security agents – forced the group to flee “and go into hiding for their safety”.

During March, MPs outlined their intentions to push a new bill to ban any kind of LGBT+ “advocacy”.

The 30 MPs, forming the group “Believers Against LGBTI+“, are now leading “the charge against criminalising LGBT+ activities in Ghana.

Just last month, 22 people were arrested as when police raiding a home in Obomeng, Kwahu South – all because authorities suspected a “lesbian wedding” was taking place there

 

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