ACCRA, 21 April 2021 – A Ghanaian actress who was sentenced to 90 days in jail for posting nude pictures of herself on social media has been freed on bail.
The court in the capital, Accra, took into account the fact that Actress Rosemond Brown popularly known as Akuapem Poloo is a young, first-time offender who had shown remorse and pleaded guilty.
The actress apologized profusely when the nude pictures, posted last July, went viral, triggering a huge backlash in a largely conservative country where people treat sex and anything sexual as both sacred, private, and taboo.
Police called her in for questioning, beginning the process that led to her facing charges.
She broke down in tears in court last week when the guilty verdict was handed down and she was led away from court to prison.
Her release was also granted on humanitarian basis, taking into account the welfare of her son.
Freedom of expression campaigners on social media who called for her release on Twitter using the hashtag #FreeAkuapemPoloo are taking credit for the release Ghanaian judicial authorities had to order.
Campaigners slammed the court judgement jailing Akuapem Poloo, calling the nude picture “much ado about nothing” and accusing authorities of callousness in the decision to separate a mother from her young, seven-year-old son.
She will be free until her appeal is heard on a yet-to-be announced date.
The actress pleaded guilty to posting obscene material online, of engaging in domestic violence and undermining the privacy and integrity of another person.
Akuapem Poloo surrendered her passport and was instructed not to travel out of the country unless so permitted by an order of the court.
She must report twice a week to police, according to the ruling granting bail which was posted at an estimated $14,000.
Freedom of expression activists in Ghana have questioned if the posting on social media of the picture of a man, filmed in the same state of nudity and in the same position as Akuapem Poloo would have provoked any of what campaigners describe as “manufactured outrage”.