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General News of Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Source: GNA

Thousands in Ghana are on remand without trial

A research conducted by Amnesty International Ghana (AIG) in September 2011 has revealed that about 3, 000 people nation-wide are on remand without trial for three to seven years.

In addition, 133 people including women are on the death row in violation of their human rights.

Mr. Lawrence Amesu, Director of AIG who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Tuesday, said the justice system in the country was slow while Judges have attributed the slowness to increase in court cases.

He said most of the people on remand were poor and could not afford the services of lawyers to pursue their cases hence the detention in prison meant for convicts.

Mr. Amesu appealed to the police to follow up cases of arrest and proper documentation of dockets for people on remand to avoid undue delay in the justice system.

He said the AIG had visited the office of the Chief Justice on the issues and the response was that the Judiciary had rolled out a programme dubbed “ Justice for all” where periodically the judicial service visits the prisons to try cases and release those found not guilty.

Mr. Amesu appealed to the Judiciary to make the programme a regular routine and across the country to address the situation where people are on remand for years.

He said relatively human rights system in the country had improved compared to the past but there was still more room for improvement on violence against women and girls, and denying girls the needed education.

Mr. Amesu said recently in the Eastern Region, some military personnel stripped a young man naked and beat him severely for criticising the activities of illegal mining in the area which posed health hazards to the people.

He appealed to the security agencies to educate their personnel on how to maintain peace instead of violating the rights of human beings.

AI is an independent global movement of more than three million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries who campaign to end human rights abuses.

Its vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.**

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