The 21 suspected lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) persons who were arrested for unlawful assembly at the Nurses and Midwives Hotel, Ho on May 21, 2021, have been freed.
They were acquitted and discharged by the Ho Circuit Court presided over by Justice Felix Datsomor.
A statement issued by the police said the suspects, drawn from Greater Accra, Ashanti, Upper East, Upper West, Eastern, Northern, and the Volta regions, converged on the Nurses and Midwives Hotel in Ho on Thursday, May 20, 2021, to advocate LGBTQI rights.
The suspects, including 16 females and 5 males, were then remanded into police custody on Friday, 21 May 2021. Items retrieved from the suspects included materials on LGBTQI+ and transgender activities used during their gathering and their mobile phones, which are in the custody of the police to aid in their investigations. According to the police, the program was sponsored by some organizations championing the activities of LGBTQI.
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They were granted bail of GH¢5,000 with one surety each on 11 June 2021. Justice Datsomor throw out the case and discharged the suspects because Chief Superintendent Akolgo Yakubu Ayamga, at the hearing today, Thursday, August 5, 2021, said the Senior State Attorney had noted that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the charge.
LGBTQI+ people face widespread persecution in Ghana where gay sex is punishable with up to three years imprisonment.