The chairman of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Nana Ofori Owusu, has in a statement, expressed worry about brutalities of the security forces against innocent Ghanaians, especially Journalists.
The party cited particularly, the recent national security charge on Caleb Kudah and Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo, two budding Journalists of Citi FM, a private Radio Station in Accra, to stress home the magnitude of widespread torture and impunity currently, prevalent in the country.
The party drew the attention of authorities on fundamental human rights of every individual as enshrined in the constitution of Ghana that can be deemed guilty until proven otherwise by a competent court of judicature.
We public below, the entire statement of the party for readers:
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP)is worried about the incessant brutalities the
Police and some members from the National Security meted out to innocent citizens, in
this country, especially on journalists.
More worrying is the recent Rambo-style arrest and alleged torture of CITIFM Journalist Caleb Kudah and Zoe Abu Baidoo, at the premises of Citi FM and the security custody respectively.
Caleb’s alleged torture is one of the numerous incidences of such impunity among Security operatives in the recent past and this would not be the last, since nothing is being done to prevent such inhumane act and human rights abuses from happening again in the country.
The entire chapter Five (5) of the 1992 constitution enjoins every citizen for certain Fundamental human rights and frowns on any kind of torture and inhumane treatment meted on persons whether or not such persons have been arrested or convicted of a crime.
It enjoins all to treat suspects as being innocent until proven guilty. It is therefore unacceptable and unconstitutional for security personnel who are expected to know better to torture citizens in their custody, instead of respecting their human rights.
We note that the commendations of the Ayawaso West Wuogon commission report stating the removal of certain persons from the National Security would have helped to serve as a framework to address such problems if the government had admitted to implementing them and not reject them major aspects of the recommendations as it was done.
Many of such unprofessional officers are still at post and continuing to act in ways that undermine the human rights of citizens. Again, as the Chairman of the Police Council, the Vice President has remained silent over these brutalities and government functionaries also sit in armchairs with little concern to the plight of victims.
We in the PPP provide the following recommendations for immediate action by the government:
1.Institute an urgent independent investigation into the unprofessional arrest and alleged torture of Caleb Kudah and bring unprofessional officers of the National Security who will be found culpable to book according to law.
2.To prevent future brutalities on persons in custody, CCTV cameras should be provided in all interrogation rooms for supervision and make it a punishable offense for any security personnel who interrogate suspects outside of such camera-fitted interrogation rooms.
3.Implemen it fully, aspects of the recommendations of the Emil Short Commission Report that the government’s white paper admitted and punish all persons who were deemed to have acted unprofessionally.
4.Implement the report of the Constitutional Review Committee to ensure the absolute powers of the Executive is reduced so Ghanaians can have good Governance and demand proper accountability from the state.
5.We further demand a separation of the Attorney General from the Ministry of Justice(MoJ). This separation will allow the total independence of the Attorney General to prosecute cases in the public interest without fear or favor.
The PPP believes the State must create a just and disciplined society which forms the basis of respect for fundamental human rights and bring true development for the people. The blueprint for our development is the Constitution, as such, if defective, it skews sour Democratic principles negatively.
The culture of impunity is partly attributable to the Constitutional deficiencies we have identified which need fixing.
Singed: Nana Ofori Owusu
Story: Today Correspondent