Three organizers of the popular Chale Wote street festival in Jamestown, Accra, were arrested by Accra Central Police.
They were picked up in Jamestown on Saturday evening while the event was virtual.
The reason for the arrests is unclear, but Starr News sources say they are being processed in court.
Anny Osabutey, a journalist who has followed the festivals for years, used Twitter to express her frustration over the arrests.
“Mantse, Nii Ayertey Aryeh and another artist are currently locked in the central police station. They have no idea about their crime. Manste was heavily involved in the murals around Ako Adjei and elsewhere. So he is said THANK YOU.
“Mantse and Co are behind bars at the Central Police Station, they haven’t been told what the crime is, but the police say that ORDER from the TOP insists that they are locked up. No indictment was favored, but Mantse Aryeequaye and Co. are being processed and will be thrown into the cell at any moment. His crime? Nobody tells him “
In other tweets he said: “For staging an indoor activity for this year # ChaleWote2021, Mantse Aryeequaye, curator of Chale Wote, was picked up by the police for his work …. currently at the regional police station, Accra. Since when has art been a crime?
Chale Wote is an alternative platform that brings art, music, dance and performance from the galleries to the streets of James Town, Accra.
The first festival took place in July 2011 after a series of discussions about creating DIY [do-it‑yourself] Joint projects of participants in our Talk Party Series. The festival’s partners are Redd Kat Pictures, Dandano, Mumble, Chaka Orleans Heritage and the Gamashie Development Agency.
The festival includes street painting, graffiti murals, photo exhibitions, interactive installations, a food and fashion market, live street performances, extreme sports, an African cinema pavilion, street boxing, a fashion parade, a music block party, design laboratories and much more.
More than 200 Ghana-based and international artists attend the event each year.