Wed, 23 Jul 2008 Social News

Socialist Forum opposes anti-terrorism law

By gna

The Socialist Forum of Ghana (SRG) on Wednesday expressed it opposition to the Anti-Terrorism Law passed by Parliament on July 19, saying it provided the legal framework for the blatant abuse of fundamental rights of citizens.

“The law undoubtedly criminalizes the enjoyment of the inalienable rights of citizens to the freedom of speech, association, assembly and the right to protest social, political and economic injustice,” the SFG said in a statement signed and issued by Mr Duke Tagoe for the organization in Accra.

The statement explained that the SFG’s opposition was grounded in the fact that by the definition of terrorism as passed by Parliament, workers who took part in protest marches that would result in any act of violence or put essential services at risk could all fall foul of the law.

Also, sections of the law allowed people who took part in political demonstrations to be charged under the anti-terrorism law and be imprisoned for up to 25 years, the statement added.

It said communities protesting against companies that were destroying their rivers, streams and environment could be charged for terrorism while people who took part in activities to show solidarity with people fighting for national liberation or people fighting against dictatorial governments could be charged with terrorism offences.

“The government now has legal powers to break into peoples’ houses and install secret listening and other video devices under the pretext of monitoring terrorist activities. The government has power to list any organization as a terrorist organization solely on the say-so of the Minister for the Interior.

“Our opposition to the law stems from the fact that all offences defined by the anti-terrorism law are adequately dealt with under existing legislation.”

The SFG said by passing the legislation, the Kufuor/NPP regime had lived up to its reputation of a neo-colonial administration which “panders to the whims of Uncle Sam”.

It said, however, that the passage of draconian laws had failed throughout history to cow the forces of progress into abandoning the people’s struggles for true democracy, social justice and peace.

SFG therefore, called an all progressive forces, human rights organizations and democratic organizations to join the campaign to repeal all the obnoxious provisions of the anti-terrorism law.

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