Military brutality unconstitutional, officers must be tried – OccupyGhana

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Ashaiman military brutality
Ashaiman military brutality

OccupyGhana says all military personnel involved in the brutalities at Ashaiman following the murder of the soldier, Imoro Sheriff, must face the law.

In a press statement, the Pressure Group, described the actions of the Military as “barbaric, totally uncalled for, absolutely unconstitutional and unlawful”.

OccupyGhana said the constitution guaranteed inviolable dignity to all Ghanaians, even if suspected to have committed a crime and that no Ghanaian should be subjected to “torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or any other condition that detracts or is likely to detract from [our] dignity and worth as human beings”.

It has, therefore, stated that as the accused persons faced the law, the Military personnel involved and any officer who authorised those actions against residents of Ashaiman must be tried, and officers and supervisors who endorsed the acts after they happened must also resign.

OccupyGhana also asked the Military High Command to apologise to everyone subjected to violations and that the State needed to compensate affected persons.

“There is, therefore, no justification for the pain, suffering and torture that the soldiers visited on clearly innocent people… Any powers of arrest that the Military may claim to have, is no different from the arrest powers of any citizen of this country, as regulated by the Constitution. ”

It said the rights of Ashaiman residents had been gravely violated as the Military itself appeared to have filmed and shared videos as they subjected citizens to “unspeakable indignities, making an absolute and total a farce of what our Constitution represents and what they see their role in the Ghanaian society as. With these barbaric acts, they made themselves, judge, jury and executioner, and a very terrible one at that!”

“The Constitution demands ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the specific person arrested has committed an offence. A mass swoop that occurs days after an offence, and detains as many as 184 people cannot be based on any suspicion that each of them had committed the offence. And even if any such suspicion arguably existed, it would be grossly unreasonable, unwarranted and perverse. Thus, the military unjustifiably violated the constitutional right to due process of every person they detained,” the statement noted.

It said the press statement issued by the Department of Public Relations of the Military on March 7, 2023, was an “absurd justification” of the actions of the officers and had been exposed by the facts provided by the police as false on March 12, 2023, that the unfortunate death resulted from a suspected robbery attempt.

The Pressure Group also said the suspected robbery could have happened in any part of the country and to any citizen and that the Military would not have intervened.

OccupyGhana asked the Military to acknowledge its mandate as all other security agencies to protect the people of Ghana and not to turn on them.

It extended its condolences to the family and loved ones of the murdered military officer.

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