The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Yaw Ayeboafo, has criticized the brutalities by the Ghana Police Service on protesters and journalists during the #OccupyJulorbiHouse protest that began on Thursday.
According to the Commission, police officers cannot use the court to prevent people from peacefully protesting and letting their voices be heard because we are in a democratic country.
“Once we practise democracy, we must understand that we should not condemn any democratic tool. The people have the right to demonstrate.”
“But the law also requires that, when you want to demonstrate, there’s a need to inform the police and they will look at all the circumstances and if they think that it may not inure to the benefits of the country, they can take action,” the Chairman said.
On the same issue, human rights institution, Amnesty International Ghana has also condemned the arrest of the 49 protestors who were part of the ‘FixTheCountry’ group.
Country Director of Amnesty Ghana, Genevieve Partington, who frowned at the unprofessionalism of the police noted that what happened was clearly abuse and infringement of human rights.
“Protesters were unfortunately dehumanised in front of the police station, protesters were arrested. People’s shirts were torn, and I have seen from videos that people were beaten. And this is something that Amnesty frowns upon.”
“The right to freedom of assembly and expression is a fundamental human right enshrined in the constitutions of Ghana. And it’s imperative that such rights be respected and upheld, without any undue hindrance or harassment,” she said.
The 3-day #OccupyJulorbiHouse protest which began on Thursday, September 21, 2023 recorded a lot of assaults and brutalities by the police on both protesters and journalists.
This also led to the arrest of 49 members of the ‘FixTheCountry’ group who showed up within the vicinity of the Jubilee House and the 37 Military Hospital and have been distributed to different police stations.
However in a press statement, the Ghana Police Service said that these suspects were taken into custody for unlawful assembly and violation of the Public Order Act.
The police noted that the arrested persons disregarded court documents served on the organisers, Democracy Hub, to refrain from embarking on the planned demonstration.
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