The Minority in Parliament has condemned the arrest and brutalities meted out against the Occupy Jubilee House protesters by the Ghana Police Service yesterday, Thursday 21 September 2023.
In a statement released on Friday 22 September and signed by its leader, Honorable Cassiel Ato Forson, the Caucus has indicated that it is saddened by the “ruthless and barbaric” crackdown on the unarmed peaceful protesters by the Ghana Police Service.
According to Mr. Ato Forson, the Minority in Parliament is outraged at and disappointed in the Ghana Police Service for unleashing a terror squad of police officers who shamefully brutalized and arrested peaceful protesters on Thursday 21 September 2023 in Accra.
“We condemn in no uncertain terms the police officers’ ruthless and barbaric crackdown on the unarmed peaceful protesters.
For a police service that has been badly and widely criticised for its partisan policing methods in recent years, and for which a parliamentary probe is currently ongoing, the 16th-century style crackdown and terror unleashed by them on the peaceful protesters in Accra yesterday further dims the reputation of the Ghana Police Service”.Minority Caucus
Again, the Minority also stated that it is shocking and unacceptable that in 2023 officers of the Ghana Police Service would continue to resort to backward and archaic policing methods to counter peaceful protesters who were only manifesting their lawful and constitutionally guaranteed right.
“Even more shocking is the fact that the heinous and high-handedness of the police is inconsistent with its motto of Service with Integrity.
Reports say as many as 49 unarmed civilians have been arrested and detained in various police cells in Accra while several others were brutalised and manhandled by officers of the Ghana Police Service. Even journalists who were carrying out their lawful duties were reportedly beaten and arrested by the police. This is unacceptable and undemocratic”.Minority Caucus
Minority Accuses President Akuffo Addo For Instigating Culture Of Silence
The Minority in Parliament also accused President Akuffo Addo and his government of persecuting people who criticize his government.
According to the Minority, there has never been a time in our recent democratic experience that a government has been such intolerant of divergent views and the right to publicly protest. The Minority believes that the sad events of yesterday Thursday, September 21 2023 represent a new low on such a slippery path.
The Minority further stated that it is not acceptable that when citizens decide to express their right to protest, the police frustrate and scuttle the process leading to the police brutally cracking down on the protesters.
“The Minority is appalled that the Ghana Police Service is increasingly seen to be lending itself to a regime of terror and tyranny that is being meted out to critics of this intolerant Akufo-Addo/Bawumia New Patriotic Party government.
How can the Ghana Police justify its actions today by stating that they were a result of the flagrant disregard of the court process served on the organisers”of the demonstration?”.Minority Caucus
The Minority is of the view that the right to freely protest and civil liberties are under great threat from the Ghana Police Service which has decided to usurp the authority of the courts and act as a law unto itself.
The Minority again expressed deep concern about the new-found penchant of the Ghana Police Service to designate public places such as the premises of the Jubilee House and other state institutions as so-called “security zones”, when these very institutions hosted similar protests in times past.
According to the Minority, this is an obvious attempt by the Ghana Police Service to shield public officials from accountability and such conduct shall be fiercely resisted.
The Minority has therefore demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all protesters who have been arrested by the Ghana Police Service.
The Minority Caucus also cautioned the police and President Akufo-Addo’s administration that no amount of intimidation can stop the people of Ghana from holding the feet of appointees and duty-bearers to the fire of accountability, and they must brace themselves for more civic action
The Ghana Police Service arrested protestors who participated in the #OccupyJulorBiHouse demonstration yesterday Thursday 21 September, 2023 within the vicinity of the Jubilee House.
The lead Convenor for the protest, Oliver Barker Vormawor shared a video on social media showing the protestors in black and red seated in the company of some police officers on a bus.