Gay activists in Ghana demand release of 21 people arrested at LGBTQI conference

Policemen stand guard in front of Ghana's Supreme Court on August 29 in Accra.

(CNN)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 an 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.
        Ghana outlaws same-sex relationships and the country's penal code prescribes between three and 25 years in prison for any citizen found to be in a same-sex relationship.