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General News of Friday, 22 December 2006

Source: Times

NRC: Govt pays 5 billion in compensation

THE government has paid over ¢5 billion as compensation to 850 victims of torture and human rights abuses during periods of unconstitutional rule in Ghana.

The National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), set up in 2002 by the government to look into human rights abuses, recommended that compensation be paid to more than 2,500 people who suffered various abuses. The monetary payments total ¢12.2 billion.

Money for the payment was released by the government in October 2006, Sandra Frimpong, member of the NRC Implementation Team told the Times.

She said even though, as many as 4,000 people petitioned the NRC and were heard, only 2,514 people are to be compensated, and out of these 2,117 are being given monetary compensation while the rest would be reinstated or have their property deconfiscated.

Payment of the compensation, ranging between one and 30 million cedis, commenced on October 13, as recommended by the NRC.

Ms Frimpong said apart from occasional cases of impersonation by relatives of some deceased victims, every thing was working smoothly.

"We are taking stringent measures to check impersonation," she said.

The NRC was set up by an Act of Parliament (Act 611) in 2002 to investigate abuses and violations of human rights, particularly during periods of unconstitutional rule the national reconciliation among the people of the country.

The Commission was also to recommend appropriate redress for persons who suffered any injury, hurt, damage, grievances, or who in any other manner have been adversely affected by the violations and abuses of their human rights, arising from the activities or inactivities of public, institutions and persons holding public office during periods of unconstitutional government.

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