Help arrested LGBTQI activists in Ghana

HELP US RELEASE 21 HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS JAILED IN GHANA 

Thank You for Your Help!

The LBQT consortium and all LGBT+ and human rights organizations involved in the process of freeing the unlawfully held 21 activists express their immense gratitude for the reception given our GoFundme and the much needed financial contributions being sent in by our international community of allies.

We come to you with a recap of our struggle thus far and ask that you continue to donate and share this fundraiser far and wide. We are in dire need of every penny we get as our colleagues have been denied bail, twice, and continue to sit in cells. 

 

Recap of Main Event

On Thursday the 20th of May 2021, members of the media and Ghana Police Services raided a workshop whose aim was to educate participants on the rights of lesbian, bisexual and queer women, trans and intersex persons. They held the 21 activists for 2 hours with no warrant and no presentation of any form of identification.  Of the 21, 16 were assigned female at birth and 5 were assigned male at birth of which all identify as LBQTI persons. The activists were then banded and distributed across 4 cells in Ho, located in the Volta region. They were placed on pre-trial detention without bail for the baseless charge of ‘unlawful assembly’. Participants are sitting in cells in the Volta Region while the police buy time in hopes of finding evidence they can use to level “real” charges against them. In a press statement, the Volta Region Public Affairs Unit of the Ghana Police Service referred to participants as “suspects…advocating for LGBTQI activities,” though organizing to protect the rights of LGBTQI persons is not directly punishable by the Ghana Criminal Code. Participants also have the right to peaceful assembly under Article 21 of Ghana’s constitution. The press statement further calls on “the public and particularly parents to be wary of activities of persons involved and report them to the Police,” potentially inciting a witch hunt on sexual minorities, who are already shaken by the wave of homophobia that Ghana has seen in the recent months.

We ask for your support to help cover the costs for  their release, as no one should be jailed without probable cause, especially those already marginalized by the general society. Every moment counts as the jail’s poor conditions have highly compromised and continues to do so to their mental and physical health. Some of those detained have had their medical care for pre-existing conditions interrupted and their children left in the care of benevolent friends and family. The Ho Police Service also claims that detainees have to be fed by their families as they have not been sentenced yet.

 

We are fundraising to support the following: 

 

1. Health, welfare, and care, to provide food, watermedication for chronically ill persons,  feminine hygiene and sanitary products, as well as facilitating family and guardian support.
2. Legal supportto fund the newly set up and highly equipped legal team to facilitate the fast release of the 21
3. Communication and advocacy, to ramp up pressure on the Ghanaian government to step in and do the right thingas their silence has been deafening 
4. Emergency housing and relocation, for those whose identities are released by the media, who are subsequently evicted and/or whose safety has been/will be compromised because of the heightened exposure. 

Please help us #ReleaseThe21 (Instagram). We thank you in advance for all incoming contributions. For updates to this case, please follow us on our social media handles:

@Lbqt_consortium_gh

@Lgbtrightsghana

@RightifyGhana

@Smajoritygh

Twitter hashtag: #ReleaseAllThe21

 

  • Mark Kikata 
    • $15 
    • 15 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 15 mos
  • Gloria Diaz 
    • $45 
    • 15 mos
  • David McCarthy 
    • $50 
    • 15 mos
  • Alessandro Tinonga 
    • $25 
    • 15 mos
See all

Organizer

Rita Tessu 
Organizer
Dundalk, MD