The Ghana Bar Association (GBA), says it has noted with increasing concern and trepidation, acts of violence carried out by some security agencies recently and reiterated its condemnation of persons who attack people regardless of the cause.
The Bar, in a statement issued on Thursday, July 8, and signed by its National President, Anthony Forson Jnr and National Secretary, Yaw Acheampong Boafo, listed a number of such incidents, some of which lead to deaths, and expressed hope that ongoing investigations “will be thorough, swift and fair and those found culpable will be duly punished.”
The statement said “Under no circumstances should operatives of the Security Agencies under the pretext of maintaining peace, manhandle and assault people or use physical force which sometimes results in the death of the victims. The rule of law must prevail at all times in our dear country.”
Among the listed instances of assault perpetrated by members of the security agencies against members of the public are:
1. The violence unleashed by security operatives in the Techiman South Constituency during the 2020 elections, which resulted in the death of two people while several others sustained injuries;
2. The use of firearms in the Ablekuma Central Constituency by a National Security operative and an unidentified soldier resulting in death and physical injuries in the course of the 2020 elections;
3. The conduct of personnel of the Ministry of National Security with respect to journalists of Citi FM/Citi TV on 11th May 2021. In that regard, the manner and mode of arrest employed by the said personnel was objectionable and unacceptable;
4. The death of two persons and injuries suffered by others following clashes between residents of Ejura and security personnel on 29th June 2021; and
5. Armed military personnel molesting and brutalising residents on the streets of Wa on 1st July 2021. Undeniably the behaviour of the military personnel in Wa on the 1st of July was extremely unprofessional, offensive and reprehensible.
“In the instances stated above, the conduct of the personnel of the Security Agencies was cruel and unacceptable. Security Agencies must be professional in the discharge of their duties. Under no circumstances should they have subjected people to such brutalities. Their actions culminated in the loss of lives and also caused injuries to others and we hereby condemn unreservedly these unfortunate events.”