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JUST IN: Police arrest Chale Wote organisers

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The police has apprehended Mantse Aryeequaye, curator of the annual street art festival Chale Wote; and two other members of his team for going against an order.

The two others, sources tell GhanaWeb, are Ampem Darko (Ananse) and one Nii Aryeh.

Mantse Aryeequaye and his colleagues were picked up Saturday evening and sent to the Accra Police Regional Command after they reportedly held an indoor event in the morning.

“For staging an indoor activity at this year’s #ChaleWote2021, Mantse Aryeequaye curator of Chale Wote has been picked up by police for his works….currently at the police regional command, Accra .since when did the art become a crime?” a tweet by journalist Anny Osabutey read.

Earlier, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) announced that the 2021 edition of Chale Wote will be a virtual event due to the upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

A statement from the outfit said the decision was “in compliance with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s 26th update on the COVID-19 protocols for people to avoid large gatherings to prevent the spread of the pandemic”.

It continued: Towards this end, management of the AMA and organizers of the festival have agreed that all lined up programmes would be broadcast on virtual platforms such as social media and other online channels to enable all enthusiasts of the festival to follow the activities.

“Furthermore, contrary to previous events and its associated large crowd there will be no outdoor activities that require in-person participation during this year’s event which commences from 13th August to 22nd August 2021.”

What President Akufo-Addo said in his 26th COVID-19 address about events:

On July 25, 2021, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo updated Ghanaians on the country’s enhanced response to the pandemic. Among others, the president announced a review of safety protocols for public gatherings, including funerals and wedding receptions.

He said:

“The COVID-19 Taskforce, which I chair, has recommended that a second look be taken at the protocols that have been put in place for social and public gatherings, in particular weddings and funerals, across the country. I have, in previous updates, emphasised the need for the strict observance of safety protocols at all such gatherings. To ensure that such gatherings do not become the sources of infections, the following must be adhered to by all at these gatherings:

the wearing of masks continues to be mandatory, and persons must respect the enhanced hygiene protocols;

all such events must be held in open air spaces;

the duration of such events is limited to two (2) hours;

there must be observance of the one (1) metre social distancing rule; and

handshakes must be avoided.”

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