Ghana: LGBT Activists Face Hardships After Detention

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09/20/2021

Arbitrary arrests and detention of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Ghana, and a proposed draconian anti-LGBT bill are causing serious economic hardship and psychological stress for LGBT people, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 20, 2021, Ghanaian police in Ho, in the Volta region, assisted by security forces, raided and unlawfully arrested 21 people, including a technician, during a paralegal training workshop about how to document and report human rights violations against LGBT people. They were detained for 22 days, then released on bail, and charged with unlawful assembly, a misdemeanor. The case was later dismissed for lack of evidence of a crime. “It is shocking that the police who should be protecting Ghanaians raided a peaceful meeting, arrested the participants, and subjected them to three weeks in harsh detention conditions on a charge that never should have been brought in the first place,” said Wendy Isaack, LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “If the bill before parliament becomes law, it will no doubt intensify abuse against LGBT people.”

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