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16.07.2003 General News

Soldiers beat my father with iron rods Witness

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Accra, July 15, GNA - Mr. Peter Yaw Amefia, the son of a former Purchasing Clerk of the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB), on Tuesday told the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) that soldiers beat his father with iron rods in 1974.

Mr Amefia said a medical report from the Ho Hospital attributed the death of his father later in 1975 to torture in 1974. He said the late Mr Komla Amefia, who was then working at Kuteh in the Jasikan District was detained for two weeks at the Papase Camp in December 1974 when they found some bags of cocoa beans in front of a cocoa shed.

Mr Amefia said the soldiers also arrested one Olympio who was working with his father, took him to the Papase Camp where he was tortured. Witness said a medical report from the Ho Hospital where his father received medical treatment confirmed that his father died as a result of the torture in the Camp.

Unfortunately, he said, he could not produce the report because the trunk in which his father kept those documents was burnt when his father's house got burnt later.

Mr. Amefia said his father did not own the bags of cocoa beans in question, adding that farmers from a nearby village brought them one evening after his father had closed from work to sell them to the CMB. The witness said since the people arrived in the night, his father told them to leave the cocoa beans near the shed and come back the following day for the transactions.

He said it was during the night when the soldiers came to enquire about the owner of the cocoa beans, adding that despite the explanation given by his father the soldiers went ahead to arrest and torture him. He said the chief of the town, Tobge Yaw and Mr Kwesi Agade, a member of the Cooperative of Cocoa Farmers sent a petition on behalf of his father and Mr. Olympio through a linguist called Victus Kofi Gbogbo to the soldiers and they were released.

Mr. Amefia said his father resigned from the CMB after the incident, adding that he never recovered from the ordeal and died a few months later.

Witness said he was 14 years old when the incident occurred, adding that as a result of his father's death, he could not continue with his education.

He said being the first son of his father he had to farm to look after his 11 siblings with the help of his eldest sister. He appealed to the NRC to assist in taking care of the family. Mr Kwesi Agade, a member of the farmers' cooperative who corroborated the story said one W.O. Kotoka led the soldiers who arrested and tortured the late Mr Amefia.

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