Gender Advocates Condemn Police Attacks On Civilians
The Alliance for Women in Media Africa (AWMA), at the weekend called for nationwide action in defence of women's rights, following the abuse of a woman at a Midlands Savings and Loans Shiashie Branch in Accra.
AWMA said action must be taken to defend women's rights to conduct their business, enter banks or other public places, and live their lives free from brutality, victimisation, and assault by law enforcement officers and their complicit enablers.
A statement signed by Mrs Shamima Muslim Alhassan, Convener of AWMA and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Saturday, noted that the video in which a police officer, identified by the Ghana Police Service as Lance Corporal Godzi Frederic Amanor; beat, and punched a customer, Patience Osafo, who was carrying her three-month-old grandchild in her arms.
'The horrific assault was caught on camera. It occurred at the Midland Savings and Loans, in the presence of watching staff. AWMA condemns the action and inaction of the staff of Midland Savings and Loans,' the statement said.
'AWMA said both the victim and the assailant were citizens of Ghana and subject to the protection and rule of law. 'According to the law, the police officer committed assault, battery, and endangered the life of a child, abused his authority and did all of this in full view of multiple witnesses.
'AWMA considers this attack on Patience Osafo as an attack on all women.'
AWMA called on all coalitions, networks and individuals scandalised by the latest act of police brutality to join a national action in protest of violence against women and vulnerable members of society, especially as the incident came in the wake of similar actions, which had caused harm and, in some cases, death, the statement said.
The statement also called for the culprit and his enablers, to be made to face the fullest extent of the law for the criminal violence and for the Ghana Police Service to do its due diligence; thoroughly investigate, charge and prosecute the Officer in question.
AWMA also called for a review of the Ghana Police Service's recruitment practices to ensure rogue elements did not find space within the service to perpetuate such violence against women.
AWMA insisted that Midland Savings and Loans be held liable for its actions and inaction in the assault incident and review procedures for dealing with violence against its customers.
'There is power in the collective voice and outrage of citizens, we must use that power to demand the protection of all of us from such brutality'.
The Alliance welcomed the swift action of the Minister of Interior and the statement issued from the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection on the matter.
'AWMA calls on all women, men and their families to stand together in defence of a national fight to end violence against women. A Ghana where a grandmother holding her grandchild is subject to this kind of brutal attack is not a Ghana in which any citizen is safe,' it concluded.