Claims of maltreatment by police in Ghana as anti-government protests continue for a second day

Placard from Ghana protests that says "As we speak... Ghana is a crime scene"
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Protests have continued outside Ghana‘s presidential palace for a second day running. Meanwhile, protesters have claimed that they experienced beatings by police while in custody.

More than 50 arrested

People gathered outside the presidential palace known as Jubilee House on 21 September to protest corruption and mismanagement. As the Canary reported, a civil society group known as Democracy Hub organised the demonstrations to voice discontent over the actions of president Nana Akufo-Addo and his government.

Ghanaian police reportedly arrested more than 50 people on the first day of the protests in the capital, Accra. Amongst them was Oliver Barker-Vormawor, who heads up the ‘fix the country’ movement. Some of those arrested said the police attacked them and took their phones.

In a letter to the police inspector general, feminist and youth activist Bright Botchway said:

It is with great sadness that I report that some of the individuals unlawfully arrested during the protest have had their phones illegally confiscated and have endured physical beatings and various forms of inhumane and degrading treatment at the hands of the Ghana Police Service. These actions not only contravene our constitution but also transgress international human rights standards.

As a dedicated advocate for human rights, I strongly condemn this disgraceful conduct by the Ghana Police Service unequivocally. I firmly demand the immediate release of all unlawfully arrested and detained protestors, by the constitution and the principles of justice, democracy, and human rights.

However, police have denied the claims that they attacked arrested protesters.

Read on...

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Second day of protests

Despite the arrests, protesters returned to Jubilee House on 22 September:

Posts to social media showed large numbers of people had once again turned out to protest. They also showed that the police had formed barricades to stop people and, as a result, people had occupied the roads:

Musicians including Efia Odo, Efya, and EL turned out to show solidarity as well:

Ghana in economic crisis

The protests come amid a spiralling economic crisis that has affected Ghana for five years. The country saw a series of protests over the problem throughout 2022, exacerbated by actions such as Akufo-Addo’s commissioning of a $58m cathedral in central Accra.

In the lead-up to 21 September, Democracy Hub refuted a claim by police that they had issued an injunction against the protests. As a result, the group said it would continue with its three planned days of protests up to 23 September.

Featured image via Your Car Guy/Twitter

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