#ReleaseThe21: 21 Activists, 21 Days And Why We Need To Be Loud About It

#ReleaseAllThe21 campaign. Photo credit: @ningo_nyobi1

June 10 would be 21 days since 21 human rights activists were arrested in Ho.

The police is accusing them of unlawful assembly because they were supposedly meeting about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) issues.

Since their arrest, the court has denied four seperate bail applications.

The first three, the police claimed if they are let go, they would become unreachable since some of them are not domiciled in the region.

For the third bail, a lower court rejected the application because a higher court had previously denied them bail for the reason we mentioned above.

Many believe that the state continuing to hold them behind bars is against their human rights.

While various homophobic individuals and entities such as the Catholic Church in Ghana are in support of the government’s attack on LGBTQ rights, many others are also providing support and lending their voice in support of the Ho 21.

There is also a coalition of Members of Parliament from across the political divide who are working together to provide legislation to criminalise even the advocacy of LGBTQ rights.

Though the bill has not been presented yet to parliament, utterances from some of the MPs working on the bill such as Sam George indicates if it passes, even this article would be illegal.

Meanwhile, the campaign to get them freed has also been unrelenting.

The issue has now gained the attention of UN Human Rights experts who condemned the “arbitrary arrest of LGBT human rights defenders in Ghana.”

“Detention on discriminatory grounds based on sexual orientation is arbitrary and violates international human rights,” they are quoted to have said.

Other European leaders have also joined the conversation of encouraging the government to release the 21 activists.

Someone like the Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde has tweeted in support of the Ho 21.

Minister For Foreign Affairs – Sweden.

Gay rights supporters from around the world have also joined the call to release them

Some are protesting in front of Ghana’s embassies and High Commissions located in various cities around the world.

A protester in front of the Ghanaian consulate in New York.

For now, the 21 are still in prison and to help pay for their legal costs, a Go Fund Me campaign has been created to raise $30,000.

As at the time of filing this report $12,718 have been raised.

You can donate here if you’d like to.

Source: Kuulpeeps.com

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