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General News of Sunday, 28 July 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Redirecting abused journalist not enough - Amnesty Int'l slams police

Human rights group, Amnesty International has faulted the police at Mataheko, near the Michelle Camp, for failing to assist a journalist who was allegedly abused by two military officers.

Country Director, Robert Akoto Amoafo, says the police could have done more than just redirecting the complainant to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), after he went there to report the incident.

The journalist, James Harry Obeng, claimed he was allegedly manhandled Wednesday, by two soldiers he could only identify as Owusu and Mensah, who forced him to weed for an hour as a punishment.

This was after one of the soldiers (Owusu), asked him to narrate from his perspective, what had caused an altercation between the driver of a commercial bus he had boarded and some transport operators along the Michelle Camp–Mataheko stretch.

He said soon after he started to narrate the incident, the soldier suddenly interrupted him and ordered that he followed him to the camp gate, where he told his other colleague (Mensah) to hand him a cutlass to weed.

He did that for an hour.

After he was released, he went to the Mataheko police station to make a complaint against the two military officers but the police asked him to take the matter to the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), he said.

Although CHRAJ has acknowledged receipt of a petition to that effect, Robert Akoto Amoafo, says the police should have shown more empathy towards the victim.

“The police could have taken the charge, escorted the person through whatever process there are, so that person has confidence that he reported to the police and the right thing has been done rather than redirecting the person,” the Amnesty International Country Director told Citi FM.

Meanwhile, an officer at the Complainants Unit of CHRAJ, who pleaded anonymity, said three directors of the commission would look into the case, and determine whether the commission had the mandate to conduct further investigations, the Ghanaian Times has reported.