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08.06.2004 General News

Another Military Brutality

By Chronicle

"You can't take me anywhere"- Soldier tells victim On Thursday May 27, this year around 6:30 pm at Amanfro, near Kasoa in the Central Region, there was an incident of alleged military brutality when a soldier assigned to the Forestry Service Division was said to have assaulted a young man at a drinking bar.

The incident, which prompted a young lady to intervene for the victim, Curtis Shyne, was said to have occurred after the soldier had taken in some drink at the bar.

Narrating what happened to The Chronicle last week Monday, Shyne said on that day he went out with two friends to the bar, their usual hang out.

While they were there, a Toyota pickup (registration number GT. 4801 U) with the inscription "Operation FSD" pulled up.

"We saw four men coming from the car, two were wearing military uniform with arms whilst the other two were in civilian clothes," Shyne said.

According to him, the men sat down a distance away from their table and ordered some drinks.

After about two hours, Shyne said he asked his friends whether the men in uniform were supposed to be working by then but his friends said that they might have closed.

"And I said if they have closed they shouldn't be using official car and wearing military uniform and holding guns at public places and at the same time drinking at this hour."

According to him one of his friends, Ato, interrupted and told him to shut up because some of the military men don't take things easy with civilians.

But Shyne said despite the warning he told his colleague that gone were the days when the military had power to brutalize civilians but now "we are in a democratic system of government and after all at the end of the day, it is the tax payers' money that is used to pay them so why should they brutalize us?"

He said after he had made this statement, they changed the topic and started making other jokes.

But he said after the four men had finished their drinks and were leaving to their vehicle one of the soldiers called him and asked him about the statement he made to his friends.

Shyne said he asked the soldier if he had any problem with the statement, but before he could finish what he was saying, the soldier slapped him twice while his colleague warned his friends not to try anything stupid.

"He slapped me again," Shyne said, "and I got back a little when a lady came over and spoke in Ewe to the soldier telling him that what he was doing was wrong but he replied that I could not do anything to him or take him anywhere."

Shyne said he reported the mater to the Kasoa police who referred him to the Military Police at Burma Camp.

When The Chronicle contacted the Military Police, the officer handling the case, Sergeant Martin Abayom, said his initial inquiries from the FSD headquarters in Accra indicated that the car was from the Central Region.

He said it would have been easier for him if the victim had identified the name and rank of the soldier but gave the assurance that he would go to the bottom of the matter.

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