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06.02.2008 Disaster

Soldiers Brutalise Teacher

By Daily Guide
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A 35-year-old pupil teacher, Raphael Torkornoo is reported to have suffered brutalities from some soldiers of the 3BN Camp in Sunyani, Brong-Ahafo Region.

The man, who could hardly talk as result of the alleged assault, was escorted by a sister, Mercy Ankomah, to report the incident to DAILY GUIDE.

Mercy narrated that on January 18 this year, Raphael went to a clinic at Ashiayem near Nkoranza where he lives and works as a pupil teacher.

She noted that after waiting in a long queue to be attended to, Raphael was hungry so returned home to get something to eat before going back to the clinic. This was around 4pm.

While Raphael was on the way back to the clinic, a soldier approached him, asking him to get a cutlass and follow him to go and fight a bush fire. But Raphael refused to take the order with the excuse that he was sick.

This did not go down well with the soldier who pulled a cutlass from a bicycle parked by and smacked his back twice with it.

When Raphael attempted to ignore him by walking away, the aggrieved soldier started firing warning shots, causing onlookers to plead with Raphael to just heed his command and go and help fight the bush fire.

But Raphael repeatedly explained that he was not well, and this further infuriated the soldier who pounced on him and beat him up mercilessly.

Moments after, Mercy said the soldier called two of his colleagues who joined him in subjecting Raphael to more beatings after which they tied him with a robe and dumped him into a pick-up and headed for Sunyani.

While in the pick-up, Raphael tried to free himself but could not, and the soldiers, noticing that he was trying to escape, beat him more, leaving him bleeding profusely.

When they drove to a nearby village, Bredi, about two miles away from Ashiayem, Raphael was pulled down from the pick-up, and without any question, another team of soldiers who were coming from Nkoranza gave him some more beatings and bundled him again into the pick-up.

When they realized that Raphael at that point was bleeding uncontrollably, they asked him to come down from the vehicle at a nearby cashew plantation. And when he could not help himself, the soldiers knocked him off the moving vehicle.

He was later seen by some passers-by who took him to the hospital.

According to Mercy, Raphael was referred to the regional hospital because of the seriousness of his condition and only regained consciousness at the St. Theresa's Hospital in Nkoranza.

Raphael is therefore pleading with the appropriate authorities to investigate the matter and bring the said soldiers to book. From Rocklyn Antonio, Sunyani

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