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29.04.2004 General News

NRC hands over exhumed bodies to families

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Accra April 29, GNA- The National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) on Thursday handed over the remains of the exhumed bodies of six persons executed in May 1986 to their respective families.

The handing over of the persons, Godwin Mawuli Drah Goka; Yaw Brefo-Berko; Kyeremeh Gyan; Samuel Boamah Payin; Samuel Charles Aforo and Richard Charles Koomson was in response to the request by representatives of the families to the Commission to locate, exhume and hand over the remains for fitting burials for their loved ones.

Dr Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, Executive Secretary of the NRC told newsmen that the objective of the ceremony was to help the families heal the wounds of the past.

He said the families of the exhumed persons alleged that, contrary to established human rights standards and norms the executed persons were subjected to severe forms of torture during their arrest. Dr Attafuah said on Monday September 1, 2003, the exhumation was conducted by a professional team of doctors from the pathology department of the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital and forensic anthropologists, from the school of Medical Sciences of KNUST where the families of the exhumed were present in accordance with the law. He said with the assistance of the families who gave vivid descriptions of clothing and general appearance of the deceased persons prior to their execution, the identities of the exhumed persons were established.

"Although it has been 18 years since their death, their clothing, including belts, socks, boots, shoes, slippers and jewels had survived giving positives clues to their identities," he added.

Dr Attafuah said the relatives of Barimah Kankani are yet to contact the commission for his remains.

The bodies were put in a box wrapped with white material. Representatives of the families even though looked very sorrowful expressed their gratitude to the government for establishing the Commission.

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