Today, a High Court in Ho has issued a bail order for the 21 activists who were arrested 22 days ago while at a seminar.
Journalists banded together with the police to arrest the 21 with accusations that they were at an LGBTQ conference.
Later, the police charged them with unlawful assembly.
Since then it has been a tussle to get them released on while all the same fighting their actual charge in court.
Having been denied four times already, today’s successful bail hearing was the fifth time asking.
The judge set bail at GHS 5000 each for all the 21 and as per law they are required to provide two sureties each and based on an update 3 hours ago from the time of filing this report, the supporters of the Ho 21, needed 13 more people to ensure that all of them can walk out at the same time.
Meanwhile, as their legal team work to satisfy the terms of the bail before their release, a joint statement from various LGBTQ groups in the country said they are working with other international bodies to provide the necessary support for them.
Now that they are out on bail, the job of fighting the actual court charge will begin.
An unlawful assembly as defined in section 201(1) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) states that: “When three or more persons assemble with intent to commit an offence, or being assembled with intent to carry out some common purpose, conduct themselves in such a manner as to cause persons in the neighbourhood reasonably to fear that the persons so assembled will commit a breach of the peace, or will by such assembly needlessly and without any reasonable occasion provoke other persons to commit a breach of the peace, they are an unlawful assembly”.
Though this is a misdemeanor offence it will be citied on their criminal record if they are found guilty.
The campaign to get the charges dropped altogether has now begun.
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