US 2022 report accuses Ghana of extrajudicial killings, other human rights abuses

Story: News Desk

The U.S. Department of State has released its 2022 annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices which has cited Ghana for several human rights abuses.

Released in April 2023, the report cited Ghana for a number of human rights abuses including arbitrary or unlawful killings, extrajudicial killings; torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by the government or on behalf of the government among others.

The report also revealed that there were serious restrictions on free expression and media, including violence and threats of violence against journalists, unjustified arrests or prosecutions of journalists; substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly; serious government corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for gender-based violence, including domestic or intimate partner violence; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex persons; laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults, although not fully enforced; and crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting persons with disabilities.

According to the report, although the government took some steps to address corruption and human rights abuses by officials, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government, impunity remained a problem.

The report highlighted that corruption, brutality, uneven training, lack of oversight, and an overburdened judicial system contributed to police impunity.

It stated that police often failed to respond to reports of crimes. In many instances, police did not respond to complaints unless members of the public paid for police transportation and other operating expenses.

The report also mentioned that on February 11, police arrested Oliver Barker-Vormawor, an activist critical of the government, in response to a series of Facebook posts.

After initially charging him with misdemeanour charges of making false statements, police upgraded the charges to felony treason and held him in prison for 35 days before a judge released him on bail.

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