Protestors defy rains at #OccupyJulorbiHouse demonstration [Photo credit: @TheSeyram]
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) says the Police Service has no justification for the alleged heavy-handed and excessive response against #OccupyJulorbiHouse protestors over the weekend.
According to the NCCE, the arrests and alleged assault of protesters by the police is an infringement of the protesters’ freedom of assembly including freedom to take part in processions and demonstrations.
“Indeed, it is unfortunate that after thirty years of constitutional democracy, the Police Service often appears to have difficulty responding to basic crowd control challenges, and all too frequently resorts to heavy-handed tactics,” the NCCE bemoaned.
The Commission also took the opportunity to remind citizens that “fundamental human rights are not absolute; demonstrations, processions and other expressions of citizens’ discontent must happen within the confines of the law.”
“The Commission reiterates the need for all Ghanaians, including the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary, state institutions, and political parties, civil society organisations, the clergy, to unite and work together to help consolidate and preserve Ghana’s democracy in order to bequeath to posterity a democracy better than what we inherited,” the NCCE said.
This follows the arrest of about 49 demonstrators who had assembled to take part in the #OccupyJulorbiHouse protest by the Police.
Already, the Service has cited unlawful assembly as the justification for its action on the first day of the three-day protest.
While the protesters were released that night, the police continued to maintain a heavy presence in the vicinity surrounding the Jubilee House – the destination of the protesters – and prevented protesters from advancing towards the presidential palace.
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