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General News of Tuesday, 15 July 2003

Source: GNA

CHRAJ urges JJ to cooperate with Police

....but He's Unlikely To Disclose Names
Accra, July 15, GNA - The Commission of Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on Tuesday appealed to Former President Rawlings to co-operate with the Police in the investigation into the serial killings without setting any preconditions.

A statement signed by Mr Emile Short, Commissioner of CHRAJ in Accra on Tuesday, said it was unfortunate that after condemning the atrocities against women and having called on the Police to employ all powers vested in them by law to discover the perpetrators of the serial killings of women former President Rawlings had failed to co-operate with them.

The Commission, therefore, called on the Police to intensify the investigations into the murders and deploy all logistical and human resources to bring the perpetrators to book.

It also appealed to all persons with information or evidence in connection with the matter to co-operate with the Police and provide them with evidence or information that would assist them in the resolution of the atrocious crimes.

The statement said the Commission was mandated by the Constitution and its enabling legislation to, among other things, investigate complaints of violations of fundamental human rights and freedom and was also required to take appropriate action to call for the remedying, correction and reversal of these violations.

"When these serial killings are targeted at women, there is not only the violation of fundamental human right to life but there is also the gender dimension to it, which raises further human rights concerns."

CHRAJ, therefore, called on the public to root out crimes and evil from society and be mindful of the utterances of and positions taken by the former President.

Rawlings Unlikely To Disclose Names

Former President Jerry Rawlings is unlikely to disclose the names of the 15people he claims were involved in the serial killing of women prior to the 2000 elections anytime soon.

Renewed pressure is building up against the former President after turning down an opportunity to disclose the names during a police interview last month.

A group of women have taken to the streets of Accra to ask for the names backed by evidence. But the former President’s aide Victor Smith says Mr. Rawlings has not been encouraged by the appropriate authorities to disclose the names.

Mr. Smith says rather than call out the 15 names, Mr. Rawlings will seek the support of the women who marched today to demand government’s action by re-opening investigations into the serial killings.

When JOY News asked if the former President would ever name the 15 people, Mr. Smith re-stated Mr. Rawlings’ demands to facilitate the establishment of the truth.