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Intensifying Calls to Release Jailed Ghanaian Activists

Ghana’s LGBTQ community has called for the release of 21 people, who were arrested by security forces last week while attending a conference in the southeastern city of Ho. An online campaign with the hashtag #ReleaseThe21 has gone viral on social media platform Twitter, as people demanded the immediate release of the detainees. At least 16 women and four men were arrested by local police on Thursday after operatives invaded a hotel where a conference for LGBTQI persons was ongoing. A regional police spokesman, Prince Dogbatse, said in a statement that the detained individuals were arrested for “advocating LGBTQI activities.” A court in the Ho district on Friday ordered the 21 accused, who were charged with “unlawful assembly” to be remanded in police custody until their reappearance in court on June 4. Activists hope that the #ReleaseThe21 campaign would expand the public conversation around tolerance and respect for gay rights in Ghana.