A Ho Circuit Court has denied a bail application for some 21 persons arraigned on the charge of unlawful assembly.

The 21 persons were arrested after journalists in Ho teamed up with the police to arrest them at a community empowerment meeting on May 20, where attendees were being trained to tackle human rights violations being experienced by LGBT+ Ghanaians.

According to the Volta Regional Police PRO, Sergeant Prince Dogbatse, the suspects had in their possession materials on concepts encouraging homosexuals to boldly announce their sexuality among other related books.

He said, “We also got the LGBT+ Muslim book that is among some of the materials that they are using, they also have gender acronyms coming out.

“A concept that is coming out at encouraging persons involved in this behaviour to come out publicly to mention or state the sexuality and all about trans, I mean transgender.”

“I mean there is an agenda by these people to propagate the LGBTQ behaviour. For now, we have referred the preliminary charge of unlawful assembly and while we continue our investigation,” he added.

The 21 LGBT rights activists consisting of 16 females and 5 males were then remanded into police custody after the Police had argued before Justice Felix Datsomor that owing to the activists not being residents in Ho it would be difficult for them to carry out their investigations.

However, after 5 court appearances and 4 bail denials over a 19 day period, the activists are being sent to prison.

In the latest bail denial, the Circuit Court Judge presiding over the case is reported to have said that due to their bail plea being denied by the Ho High Court, he is unable to overturn the High Court’s ruling.

Rightify Ghana, a human rights organization, which has been following this case posted on Twitter that “some of the inmates were sick and were hospitalized a few days ago. A family has disowned one of them, telling her never to return home again.”

The Police are yet to present any evidence to the courts to back their charges.

Meanwhile, a section of social media users have declared their support for the arrested 21 demanding that they be released immediately using the hashtag #ReleaseThe21.

Below are some tweets;

Meanwhile, the United Nations has joined calls for the release of the 21 activists.

It stated, “We are deeply concerned by the arrests of the human rights defenders. All evidence available to us points to the fact that they were detained while they were peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.”