The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has made a call to the Attorney-General to intervene and stop the needless harassment of the alleged 21 members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community who were arrested in Ho, Volta Region.
Some 21 alleged activists of LGBT+ were arrested on May 20, 2021, by the Volta Regional Police Command.
Comprising 16 women and 5 men, they were arraigned before the Ho Circuit Court on May 21, 2021, and charged with unlawful assembly under Section 202 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
Despite several attempts by their counsel to secure bail, the 21 have on multiple occasions been denied [by both the Ho Circuit Court and High Court].
After following the case keenly, CDD-Ghana has in a statement say it is appalled at how the Courts and the State have handled this matter and have allowed these young Ghanaians to be incarcerated for 19 days and counting.
"In a democratic dispensation where the rights of all persons, including social minorities, are guaranteed under the Constitution, targeting and singling out LGBT+ persons for such harsh and unfair treatment, merely for associating and assembling with each other for noncriminal purposes, including to plan advocacy for better treatment under the law, further marginalizes and victimizes them and sets a dangerous precedent for the treatment of unpopular minorities in general,” parts of a release from CDD-Ghana reads.
CDD-Ghana insists that it is time the Attorney-General stepped in to ensure the right thing is done for all forms of harassment the 21 alleged LGBT+ activists have suffered to stop.
“The Center calls on the Attorney-General who is clothed with the State’s exclusive prosecutorial power under the Constitution to intervene in this matter and stop the needless continuing harassment and violation of the constitutional rights of these 21 compatriots,” the CDD-Ghana release adds.
In addition, the Centre has called on the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to take proactive steps, including public education, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of social approval or disapproval of their personal choices and preferences in purely private matters, are able to exercise and enjoy the rights guaranteed equally to all persons under the Constitution without social or official harassment.
Find below the full press release from the advocacy think tank: