22.04.2004 General News

Help decriminalise my late brother - Journalist

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Accra, April 22, GNA - Mrs Agustina Aforo Yeboah, a Journalist on Thursday appealed to the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) to help decriminalise her late brother, Samuel Charles Lartey Aforo, who was allegedly charged for treason and executed in 1986.

"I am basing my plea on a commentary written by Mr David Anaglate, under the Headline: the Execution of Criminals in the July 26 1986 of the Daily Graphic Newspaper under which my brother was mentioned with Kyeremeh Djan to have been sentenced to death by the Public Tribunal." Mr Anaglate was a Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

Mrs Foro-Yeboah, who amid tears described the deteriorated state she found her late brother when she visited him at the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) before his execution also appealed to the Commission to assist the family to give him a befitting burial. According to her, Samuel Charles Lartey Aforo, Warrant Officer Class II in the Armed Forces and with the Recce Regiment at the time, testified before the Public Tribunal and said he was not guilty of the offence, adding that his plea was not taken and was sentenced to death. The Witness said her brother was arrested when he travelled to Takoradi in late October 1985 to participate in the Armed Forces games, adding that he was told his mother was ill, hence he was needed in Accra.

She said it was later that he sent a note hidden in a storybook through a friend that she got to know that he had been arrested and detained at the Teshie barracks.

Mrs Aforo-Yeboah said he was later transferred to the BNI and during a visit they realised that he had been tortured with two of his fingers in bandage, his head bandaged and both eyes were blood shot. She said her brother told them that his head was hit with the butt of a gun and his fingers were shot.

The Witness said the family was not allowed to visit him until in 1986 when they heard on radio that he was to be executed with Kyeremeh Djan and others charged with treason.

She said her brother was tortured for several days and even had moments of blackout until his execution.

"My brother was an astute gentleman, educationist and a fine soldier", Mrs. Aforo Yeboah said, adding that though her brother was married, he had no child because his wife who was then pregnant, had a miscarriage during the trial at the Public Tribunal. She said their mother also died in January that year, adding,

"she was spared the agony of witnessing the pain her son went through." Reverend Father Charles Palmer-Buckle, Member of the Commission said there was no gainsaying that the whole country mourned with her over her loss, adding that the Commission would do all it could to decriminalise her late brother and give him a befitting burial.

"Even the body of Jesus Christ, after he died on the cross, was given to his family for a befitting burial," he added.

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