(Reuters) – Ghanaian police on Friday said they had detained 21 people they suspected of promoting an LGBT+ agenda, at an unlawful assembly in the southeastern city of Ho.
LGBT+ people face widespread persecution in the West African nation, where [homosexuality] is punishable with up to three years imprisonment.
The 16 women and five men were arrested on Thursday, at a hotel for nurses and midwives, the police statement said, alleging they had gathered to advocate LGBT+ activities with books and flyers with titles including: ‘Coming out’ and ‘All about Trans’.
The detainees will appear before a court on June 4.
Rights organisation, Rightify Ghana, said the group had met to share insight on how to document and report human rights violations being experienced by LGBT+ Ghanaians.
“The press teamed up with the police to storm the meeting location, started taking images, took their belongings and arrested them,” it said in a post on Twitter.
“We are calling on the Ghana Police Service to #ReleaseThe21,” it said.
Ghana has not prosecuted anyone for same-sex relations in years, but LGBT+ people face frequent abuse and discrimination, including blackmail and attacks, human rights researchers say.
Reporting by Christian Akorlie, Writing by Alessandra Prentice