The Human Rights Reporters Ghana an NGO championing the protection and defense of the fundamental rights of Ghanaians has in a press release copied to NewsGhana24.com condemned the shooting and killing of the civilian at Ashaiman Municipality by a military officer deployed to maintain law and order.
In the press released, the NGO called on the government to establish an independent investigative body into the matter. It also urged citizens to respect the lockdown directives and stay at home for mother Ghana.
Below is the full press release.
For Immediate Release
April 9, 2020
To All Media Houses
HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTERS CONDEMN ALLEGED SHOOTING AND KILLING OF CIVILIAN BY A MILITARY OFFICER AT ASHIAMAN MUNICIPALITY.
The Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) is grieved by the shocking incident of shooting and killing of a civilian on Monday, April 6, 2020, at the Ashaiman Municipality by a military officer deployed to maintain law and order and ensure the enforcement of the lockdown directives of government to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
We back the many calls of NGOs, CSOs and human rights activists in the country with one voice to condemn the act of lawlessness exuded by the military officer involved in no uncertain terms and also call for an independent probe into the matter by the authorities with immediate effect.
We believe justice must be served without delay, with an appropriate sanction for the officer involved if found culpable by the outcome of investigations.
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While we applaud the measures put in place by the government to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic with imposing lockdown protocols in some parts of the country backed by the security forces, we are also worried by numerous reports and video footages making rounds on social media detailing alleged varying violation of human rights, abuses of civilians ranging from beating, slapping, spanking and use of brute force and other draconian measures which are against the law.
We are also calling for a swift probe into all video footages making rounds on social media detailing alleged brutalities on civilians by the security forces; to, first of all, authenticate their validity, and ensure the appropriate sanctions are given and officers cautioned to desist from excesses and wanton violation of people’s rights
As human rights defenders, we outrightly condemn the draconian approach and methodology being employed by the security officers to ensure citizens observe the lockdown protocols and wish to add our voice to calls for such disturbing developments to cease.
We also caution the public to comply with the lockdown protocols and always remain at home, especially those who have nothing essential to do outside during the period to avoid any confrontation with the security personnel and to help in the fight of COVID-19.
While we implore the government to call the security personnel into order, we applaud the government for interventions put in place, however, we equally appeal to the Ministry of Information to provide numbers through which abused persons can call to report such issues.
Homeless people on our streets, head porters (Kayayei) and the needy 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 amount to an abuse of their fundamental human rights as citizens.
Finally, respect for human dignity and rights under the law especially during the 14 day lockdown period should be jealously guarded to save lives and protect public health and safety.
Joseph Kobla Wemakor
Wisdom Eli Kojo Hammond