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16th-century style crackdown, terror on ‘OccupyJulorbiHouse’ protestors dim police reputation – Minority

Headlines Minority Leader Cassiel Ato Forson
FRI, 22 SEP 2023 LISTEN
Minority Leader Cassiel Ato Forson

The Minority Caucus in Parliament has strongly condemned the Ghana Police Service for the alleged "brutalities and arrest of peaceful protestors" during the 'OccupyJulorbiHouse' demonstration on Thursday.

In a press statement, the Minority described the police crackdown as a "16th century style crackdown and terror" that has "further dimmed the reputation of the Ghana Police Service."

"The Minority in Parliament is outraged at and disappointed in the Ghana Police Service for unleashing a terror squad of police officers who on Thursday shamefully brutalised and arrested peaceful protesters in Accra," the statement said.

The Minority caucus said it is "shocking and unacceptable that in 2023 officers of the Ghana Police Service would resort to backward and archaic policing methods to counter peaceful protesters who were only manifesting their lawful and constitutionally-guaranteed right."

"We condemn in no uncertain terms the police officers' ruthless and barbaric crackdown on the unarmed peaceful protesters. For a police service that is 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," the statement added.

The Minority caucus noted, "Never has there been a time in our recent democratic experience that a government would be this intolerant of divergent views and the right to publicly protest, and the sad events of Thursday represent a new low on this slippery path."

"It cannot be accepted that when citizens decide to express their right to protest, the police frustrates and scuttles the processes leading to the peaceful protest or where the protesters remain resolute by holding the protest, the police brutally cracks down on them," the statement stressed.

The Minority added, "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."

Reports indicate that 49 protesters were arrested and detained while several others were allegedly brutalized.

Some journalists carrying out lawful duties were allegedly beaten and arrested.

However, following heated criticisms, the police released the protestors during the late hours of Thursday, September 21.

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