The Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) has condemned the approach by the police and military officers deployed to maintain law and order and enforce the lockdown directives to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana.
To them, the acts, such as beating, slapping, spanking and applying unreasonable force amount to human right abuse which go to defeat the purpose for which uniformed officials are in town.
In a press release, the outfit said the military, in particular, seems to have gone overboard on the ground and must be re-briefed on their dos and don’ts.
HRRG admonished the security forces to respect the law, the rights of offenders and desist from the unwarranted torture of Ghanaians.
Some of those who have been abused, have been hurt in several parts of their bodies. Some have suffered cuts. As we all work to protect public health, officers in uniform must not abandon principles and commitments to respecting the rights of offenders, equality, and non-discrimination.
Homeless people on our streets, head porters (Kayayes) and the needy in general should be considered in our efforts to deal with the COVID-19 to ensure the safety of all. Not considering the needs of such persons during this lockdown amounts to an abuse of their basic rights as citizens.
Any form of additional abuse to persons living under bridges, slums, on the streets with no place to call a home aggravates their suffering.
They are also pleading for such officials captured in the videos to be identified, dealt with and cautioned to desist from the abuse of the rights of purported offenders.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is being dealt with, the onus lies on the security services and their men on the ground not to compel other Ghanaians to seek medical attention due to their abusive approach.
Ghana is not at war with the military nor police officers and we must condemn all forms of abuse and lawlessness of the military, police and the civilians.
That notwithstanding, the outfit is calling on the Ministry of information to provide numbers through which abused persons can report such issues.