15.04.2004 General News

CHRAJ asks police to respect the rights of suspects

15.04.2004 LISTEN

Sekondi, April 15, GNA- Mr. Richard Quayson, Western Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has called on the Police to respect the rights of suspects, treat them humanely and allow the courts to try them before treating them as criminals.

He said it is wrong and against the 1992 Constitution and other international conventions to detain "suspects" in Police or Prison custody for over 48 hours.

Mr. Quayson said this while seeking bail for 34 suspects arrested by the Police on April 10 and arraigned before court in Sekondi on April 13.

He said the suspects, including a chief, five women and two Junior Secondary School (JSS) students had spent 78 hours in Police cells before they were taken to court.

He said though no one could prevent the Police from performing their duties, they should act within the confines of the law and ensure that suspects were either given Police enquiry bail to report periodically or arraigned before a court of law as soon as practicable.

Mr. Quayson said natural justice demands that suspects, some of who may be innocent or victims of circumstances would not be unnecessarily detained and their rights violated.

It would be re-called that 34 suspects arrested at Acheamfo in the Aowin-Suaman district of the Western Region, and arraigned before a Sekondi Magistrate's court for rioting, causing damage, stealing and arson, have not been tried and detained for over 48 hours. They would appear again on April 26.

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