You are here: HomeNews2011 03 10Article 204731

General News of Thursday, 10 March 2011

Source: Daybreak

US Condemns Shooting of Former MP's Son

The United States government has released a human rights report criticizing the shooting of Kwesi Osei-Ameyaw, first born of Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, former MP for Asuogyaman and the beating to death of a demonstrator when ex-Information Minister, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, was arrested and detained by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).

The report, 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices reflects Ghana's Human Rights situation in that year, stated that there were "deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by police; vigilante violence; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; police corruption and impunity; prolonged pretrial detention; forcible dispersal of demonstrations and corruption in all branches of government".

It also paints a grim picture of violence against women and children, including female genital mutilation (FGM); societal discrimination against women, persons with disabilities, homosexual persons, and persons with HIV/AIDS; trafficking women and children; ethnic discrimination and politically and ethnically motivated violence; and child labor, including forced child labor.

"On August 8, in Osu, Accra police shot the 18-year-old son of a former member of parliament in the leg outside a nightclub as he was leaving the venue with friends. Police have not determined a motive for the shooting. Two hospitals denied the victim medical treatment because he did not have a police report, a prerequisite for treating such cases. A third hospital treated him. At year's end there was no new information on the case."

It would be recalled that the firing saw a live-bullet piercing through the right thigh of Kwesi Osei-Ameyaw and shredding some amount of flesh.

By-standers who saw the bloody incident said it was an unprovoked attack which was done in a hit and run style. They claimed further that the Police fired several live bullets in the air and into the crowd before speeding away in a silver-colored Tata Mahindra Scorpio with number ER 908 W.

Continuing, the report said "in August one person was beaten to death by unknown assailants after taking part in a demonstration against the detention by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) of the former minister of information.

"In August two men were killed at the Kokomba Yam Market in the Agbogbloshie section of Accra following clashes between rival ethnic groups that have been locked in a chieftaincy dispute in the Northern Region since 2002. In September an additional three persons were killed as a result of the same dispute. At year's end there was no new information on these cases.

'In November a video clip and still photos were released to the media depicting military personnel in Bawku (Upper East Region) interrogating and abusing two naked civilian suspects. Still photos showed a soldier kicking a suspect and placing the tip of his gun in a suspect's mouth. Earlier media reports accused the soldiers of stripping the suspects and parading them through the township following their arrest. The suspects were detained by military personnel for alleged involvement in sporadic shooting in the Natinga area of Bawku. According to the National Peace Council, the Military High Command questioned the Bawku unit commander and launched an inquiry into the incident".

On freedom of speech and press, the report said "On September 17, police briefly closed an independent radio station in the Northern Region owned by a former vice-president. The station was closed in connection with a chieftaincy dispute after it broadcast a press conference by the regent of a disputed territory. The regent called the press conference to explain that he walked out of a recent town hall meeting because he was made to sit with 'ordinary' persons while another chief was seated with government ministers. The regional police commander ordered police to close the station. Station staff were arrested and detained for several hours. The station was back on air the following day.

"In February the director general of the state-owned Ghana Broadcasting Corporation gave a cease transmission order, thus cutting of the broadcast of a live program following a complaint of bias against the ruling NDC party made by the NDC communications chairman. The panel of one NDC and two opposition National Patriotic Party (NPP) members was discussing the president's state of the [nation] address. The director general stated that the composition of the panel was not in the best interest of the station.

"On April 11, an Upper East Regional correspondent for the Accra-based newspaper The Chronicle was assaulted by supporters of the ruling NDC for photographing party activity. They also destroyed his digital camera. The editor in chief of Today, an independent anti-government daily, reported receiving threatening messages on his cell phone. No arrests were made or charges filed.

"On May 28, a group of NDC supporters besieged a privately owned FM radio station in the Brong Ahafo Region, attacking three persons and vandalizing the station."