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17.11.2003 General News

I was severely beaten at Gondar Barracks - Witness

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Accra, Nov. 17, GNA - Madam Sarah Baby Nartey, a trader who appeared before the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) on Monday said she was arrested and severely beaten at the Gondar Barracks in 1979 for trading in cloth.

She said the soldiers seized eight full pieces of her wax prints at Alajo in Accra when she was returning home and that a co-tenant called "Red" who offered to bail her at the Gondar Barracks was also brutalised, resulting in his penis getting swollen.

The Witness said they were released the same day but her experience with the soldiers made her lose interest in the trade.

Madam Nartey, who said she had another encounter with the soldiers on December 31, 1981, said she was selling fried turkey tail, fish and chicken with yam at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle when the soldiers came and arrested her.

She said the soldiers took her and another colleague to the Military Police station at El-Wak in Accra where they were slapped, beaten with belt and "given blows" as a result of which she urinated on herself and had cuts on the forehead and the lips.

Madam Nartey said the soldiers accused them of selling food above the control price.

The Witness said although one Dr Quansah later treated her, she started having severe headache accompanied with nose bleeding that lasted for about three years.

She asked the commissions for compensation.

Mr Isaac Korletey from Tema also told the NRC how his late father's Datsun taxi cab, bearing registration number ER 5185 T was seized by members of the People Defence Committee (PDC) when it was plying Odumase Krobo and Asesewa.

He said the PDC claimed a man on board the taxi was smoking cigarette hence the seizure, adding that it was later found that the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) were using the car.

Mr Korletey said the car was involved in an accident later and had since been parked at the Asesewa Police Station where it has rusted. He said his father went into farming after the incident and died in 1993, adding that before he died he wrote a petition to government for compensation but it yielded no result.

The Witness asked the Commission for compensation.

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