Conduct independent investigations into Military brutalities in Ashaiman – AI Ghana

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Ashaiman military brutality
Ashaiman military brutality

Amnesty International Ghana (AI) has condemned the military brutality meted out to some residents of Ashaiman over the death of a young soldier.

Residents of Ashaiman were brutalized in a sanctioned military operation on Tuesday, 7 March 2023, and 182 of them rounded up and handed over to the military police.

Some residents, out of fear, remained indoors all day in what appeared to be an unsanctioned curfew imposed on the town.

The army, having admitted in a statement that the operation was sanctioned by the military high command, however, said it was not to avenge the killing of the soldier, Trooper Imoro Sherrif, but rather, to fish out the perpetrators of the crime.

Reacting to the event, Amnesty International Ghana in a statement said it is against all forms of violence and human rights abuses and condemns the violence meted out by the Military on civilians.

“The Military is to take a step back and allow the Ghana Police Service to conduct thorough investigations into the unfortunate killing of the soldier,” the statement noted.

The statement further reminded the President Akufo-Addo who is the Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, the Minister of Interior, the leadership of the Ghana Armed Forces and other authorities involved in law enforcement in Ghana, that under their international human rights obligations, they must promptly, independently, thoroughly, and effectively investigate this unfortunate incident.

Amnesty International Ghana called for an independent investigation, as matter of urgency, to ensure that the military personnel involved in carrying out human rights abuses against the people of Ashaiman are held accountable and that adequate compensation be given to these victims.

The group called on the people of Ashaiman to exercise restraint and remain calm, while they seek justice.

Read details of the full statement below:

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL GHANA CONDEMNS MILITARY BRUTALITY IN ASHAIMAN

Amnesty International Ghana has taken notice of a video recording making rounds on social media and other news outlets of alleged military brutality in Ashaiman following the alleged stabbing and killing of a young soldier Imoro Sherrif, on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

According to media reports, a mandate was issued by the Military High Command to deploy military personnel into Ashaiman to search for the culprits of the crime, this unfortunately led to innocent civilians facing brutality from the military personnel. A series of human rights abuses involving but not limited to flogging, restricting free movement of residents and breaking into people’s homes were meted out on persons of Ashaiman Constituency. To this effect, innocent people have been hurt both physically and psychologically due to this inhumane incident.

This in no way reflects the mandate of the military which clearly states that “The Armed Forces shall be equipped and maintained to perform their role of defence of Ghana as well as such other functions for the development of Ghana as the President may determine”- 1992 Constitution of Ghana in Article 210 clause (3).

The Ghana Armed Forces regulations, Armed Forces Act, 1962 Act 105 places obligations on military officers as defenders of the nations. It obliges them not to interfere with rights of others more than to the extent unavoidable to pursue the legitimate aim they are following.

Amnesty International Ghana is against all forms of violence and human rights abuses and condemns the violence meted out by the Military on civilians. The Military is to take a step back and allow the Ghana Police Service to conduct thorough investigations into the unfortunate killing of the soldier.

We would like to respectfully remind the President of Ghana who is the Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, the Minister of Interior, the leadership of the Ghana Armed Forces and other authorities involved in law enforcement in Ghana, that under their international human rights obligations, they must promptly, independently, thoroughly, and effectively investigate this unfortunate incident.

Amnesty International Ghana is calling for an independent investigation, as matter of urgency, to ensure that the military personnel involved in carrying out human rights abuses against the people of Ashaiman are held accountable and that adequate compensation be given to these victims.

We want to reiterate what the MP of Ashaiman said to the people of Ashaiman that all parties should exercise restraint and remain calm, while we seek justice.

Amnesty International is a non-political, not-for-profit human rights organization working for the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights standards. It is a global movement of over 10 million people in more than 160 countries.

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