Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) is calling for a “swift” investigation into the arrest of some citizens by the police on Thursday, September 21.
The Council also demands “that anyone found guilty is made to face the full rigors of the law to instill confidence in our democratic system”.
This was contained in a press statement issued on Tuesday, September 26 and signed by the General Secretary of the Council, Rev. Dr Cyril Fayose.
It is in connection with the chaotic start to the three-day #OccupyJulorbiHouse protest.
As a result of disagreement between the police and the organisers, Democracy Hub, as regards an application filed at the High Court to stop the action, the former had warned against any assembly for the demonstration.
But prosecuting a threat to defy that orders, more than 50 persons showed up with the aim of marching to the seat of government for the planned picketing. They were all picked up but later released.
The arrested were reported to have been manhandled at the various police stations they were taken to.
The Council condemned the “unprofessional” conduct of the police.
“The Council views the behaviour of the police officers as unethical and a bad reflection on the country’s democratic credentials,” the statement noted.
“The reaction of the police to the peaceful protest goes against their mandate to maintain peace, protect life and property and the dignity of citizens.
“Their actions do not only taint the country’s hard-won international reputation as the bastion of democracy in Africa, but it also infringes on the public’s rights to assemble and protest peacefully granted under the 1992 Constitution.”
It said even the police’s reason of not having the numerical capacity to provide protection was not the case because “we find it strange that the police found the numbers to arrest and detain some protesters and even journalists during the march”.
“Inasmuch as the leaders of CCG appreciate the efforts of the Police Service to keep the peace in our country, the Service in discharging its duties should not act in any way to be seen as taking away the constitutional rights of citizens.
“We encourage our service personnel to exercise patience and carry out their duties professionally and in a manner that protects life and property without abusing the rights of citizens to protest.”