UN human rights gurus demand immediate release of LGBTQI activists arrested by Ghana Police

Offices of LGBT+ Rights Ghana were shut down on Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Some human rights experts of the UN have condemned the recent arrests of 21 LGBTQI activists in Ho last month.

The experts are, therefore, demanding the release of the activists “immediately and unconditionally”.

The 21 – 16 women and five men – were arrested on Thursday, May 20 in the Volta Region capital while conducting a paralegal training for the protection of human rights of sexual minorities.

They were, subsequently, charged with unlawful assembly by a Ho Circuit Court and remanded in police custody.

On Friday, June 4, the UN human rights experts including Victor Madrigal-Borloz, who is the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, expressed concern about the arrests.

“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,” they said in a statement.

“Human rights defenders play a key role in protecting vulnerable groups from violence and discrimination and empowering them to claim their human rights. Ghana should ensure that no one is criminalised for defending the fundamental rights of LGBT people.”

They pointed out that detention on discriminatory grounds, including for combating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, is arbitrary by its own nature and violates international human rights law.

“The Government of Ghana must release them immediately and unconditionally.”

Ghana’s criminal laws frown on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) orientation, terming their act as “unnatural carnal knowledge”.

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By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana