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12.08.2005 General News

WACAM surprise at Govt's inaction


Tarkwa (W/R), Aug. 12, GNA - The Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) has expressed surprise that, no effort has been made to investigate the shooting incident at Prestea on June 25, 2005, when seven people received various degrees of gunshot wounds during a peaceful demonstration.

It has therefore, called on the government and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to probe into the incident and bring the perpetrators of this act to book and also investigate the violations of the rights of Prestea and Himan people in the face of the mining activities of Bogoso Gold Limited.

Anything short of this would be a sign of insensitivity to the violations of the human rights of the poor people.

It said security forces opened fire on the peaceful demonstrators from Prestea and Himan on June 13, 2005 in exercise of their constitutional rights of demonstration to draw attention to the problems of the mining activities of BGL on the peoples of the communities. We believe strongly that state agencies would have acted differently, if the victims of the shooting incident were to be BGL officials or people with status.

We wish to express our solidarity with the struggle of the people of Prestea and Himan and call on all well meaning Ghanaians to support their struggle for the protection of their rights and the environment. These were contained in a solidarity petition and statement on the impact of mining activities of BGL on Prestea and Himan.

47 participants drawn from Wassa West and Asutifi North districts, who attended a two-day workshop on the rights and responsibilities of mining communities, which ended at Tarkwa yesterday, signed the statement.

Organized by WACAM with the support from DKA, a Catholic Christian organisation based in Austria, the workshop provided the participants the opportunity to discuss and share their experiences in respect of the impacts of surface mining activities on their living conditions.