Politics of Friday, 15 June 2012
Though Ghana has made significant progress in human right records, there remained few violations being perpetrated in homes, judiciary, prisons and security forces; the 2012 Annual Report by Amnesty International (AI) disclosed on Friday.
The 442-page report, which captured activities for 2011, indicated that thousands of Ghanaians remained under threat of forced eviction with high levels of violence being carried out against females.
It announced that the country’s criminal justice system remained slow with prisons being overcrowded and poorly resourced.
Speaking at the launch in Accra, Mr. Lawrence Amesu, Director of AI, Ghana, said the annual report was intended to inform the world about the continuous human rights abuses in societies and to formulate strategies to eliminate them.
He stressed that it was not to judge nor to blame individuals, institutions or governments, but to present the facts as they were reported.
Mr. Amesu said the report on Ghana identified some few violations and abuses carried out especially by State apparatus, namely police personnel.
He said, “These human rights abuses include violence and unlawful killings by State apparatus, institutionalised injustices in the justice system, the continuous retention of the death penalty in the law books, violation of citizens' housing rights, perpetuation of violence against women and girls in their everyday life.”
On the simmering tensions and pockets of conflicts countrywide, Mr. Amesu called on the citizenry to contribute towards “smoking the peace pipe”.
He chastised politicians who used foul and intemperate language on their “vote winning platforms”, stressing that such divisive and abusive campaigns would not “Win votes but may rather bring discord among the peace-loving people of Ghana”.
“Another serious human right violation and abuses we are experiencing is the spate of ethnic conflicts which are characterised with heartless killing of innocent citizens, burning down of properties and various such unwarranted atrocities,” he added.
Mr. Amesu said the fight for peace would only be achieved chiefly through the elimination of human rights violation and abuses.
The 2012 Report briefly reported on human rights violation and other forms of abuses cases in the police and security forces, judiciary, death penalty, housing rights, violence against women and girls and rights of lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people.**