The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has condemned last Tuesday’s military exercise at Taifa, a suburb of Ashaiman in the Greater Accra region.
A contingent from Ghana’s Armed Forces who stormed the community allegedly brutalised any residents they could set their eyes on.
The military further rounded off over one hundred individuals who the Ghana Armed Forces describe as suspects in connection with the murder of a 22 year old service man Sheriff Imoro.
Although the action by the military was widely considered as a move to avenge the slain soldier the Ghana Armed Forces in a statement released to the press explained that the exercise was an “intelligence-led operation.”
However reacting to the incident Joseph Whittal, the Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice told Joy News’ Blessed Sogah that the exercise does not pass the test for an intelligence-led operation while adding that the military acted wrongly.
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“Because of their personal interest they come (to Ashaiman), takeover the law and do what they want. I completely condemn it. It is degrading and dehumanizing treatment to put such persons who are going to their work arrest them, make them do press ups in mud, sitting down with all their clothing removed apart from some briefs is completely unacceptable and that this is exacted by the army of Ghana? It’s completely unacceptable,” the Commissioner exclaimed on the sidelines of the Ghana-EU dialogue held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in Accra Wednesday, March 8, 2023.
He added that “any defense of it by any leadership of the military is a misplaced support. We need to call what is wrong wrong and this is completely wrong.”
When asked about the fears of reprisals from aggrieved residents, Mr. Whittal noted that the military still have weapons that they can always apply.
“The community of Ashaiman should hold themselves and allow lawful bodies like the Ghana police to Investigate and take the right steps” he stated.
He also stressed that CHRAJ “when called upon we’ll take the right steps because it is the ombudsman that has constitutional powers to investigate military issues in the event that the military go beyond their normal duty and it affects the right of people.”
However for a CHRAJ investigation to take place Joseph Whittal said the process can only be triggered if an official complaint is filed on the matter.
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