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24.01.2006 Regional News

Government urged to construct new police cells

By GNA

Techiman (B/A), Jan. 24, GNA- Mr. Pierre Kwabena Ankomah, Techiman Municipal Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), on Tuesday called on the government to construct new police cells with separate toilets and urinals, through out the country. He noted that conditions at police cells were appalling with some inmates "sleeping on the bare-floor and using newspapers as mats". In an interview with the GNA at Techiman, Mr Ankomah said Article 15 of the 1992 Constitution states that any person arrested, restricted or detained should not be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment.

The NCCE official said: "Such a person must as well not be made to undergo any other condition that would detract his or her dignity and worth as a human being."

Mr Asante Boateng, Techiman Municipal Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), said police cells at Techiman, Buoyem, Offuman, Aworowa, Tanoso and Akrofrom, all in the Municipality, were not conducive to accommodate both suspects and accused persons.

He expressed regret about the congestion of inmates in the cells, with urinals and faeces kept in containers in the same cells to the detriment of the health of the inmates. Mr Justice Opoku Ware, Managing Director of JOWALISA Company Limited, dealers in petroleum products in Techiman, appealed to the police to treat suspects with respect and dignity. He said: "In a situation where suspects kept in cells are not given proper treatment, to the extent that they are not even giving the chance to brush their teeth while in cells do not give meaning to the fundamental rights of suspects.

He stated that conditions in the country's cells, which are rather very dehumanising, constituted a violation of the dignity of the suspects, saying the unhygienic conditions often shortened the lives of the inmates.

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