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08.07.2019 Feature Article

Ask Holocaust Survivors and Victims about the Duration of Pain of Real “Brutal” Torture

Commenting on claims by Mr. Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri that the Modern Ghana online media portal’s Deputy Editor was “brutally tortured” by agents from the National Security Council (NSC), who had picked him up for questioning on Thursday June 27, regarding the criminal hacking of the computer information storage and retrieval systems of some rival media establishments, Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jr., Editor-Publisher of the “Insight” newspaper, was reported to have asserted that evidence of torture on the persons or bodies of victims often vanishes after 72 hours of such scandalous act of heinous criminality (See “Evidence of Torture Normally Vanishes After 72 Hours – Kwesi Pratt Jnr” Modernghana.com 7/5/19).

I find such comment coming from a diehard, see-nothing, hear-nothing and admit-nothing staunch supporter of the Nkrumah-founded Convention People’s Party (CPP) to be rather scandalously amusing and quaint, being that other than the Rawlings-led juntas of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), the CPP maintains a historically unsurpassed track-record in the torture and systematic brutalization of political prisoners in Ghana’s postcolonial history, the most prominent and distinguished of whom, of course, was Dr. Joseph (Kwame Kyeretwie) Boakye Danquah, the putative Doyen of Gold Coast and Modern Ghanaian Politics.

Indeed, what I have been told by the experts is that it is only in cases of rape, especially of women by men, that the spermatozoon, or discharged semen, loses any forensic relevance or sustainability after 48 hours, especially if the rape victim takes a shower or a bath within the aforementioned temporal frame. You see, the signs or evidence of torture, contrary to what Mr. Pratt would have Ghanaians believe, goes well beyond the immediate physical pains experienced by the primary victim. Mr. Pratt would do himself and his audience remarkable epistemic good, if he could familiarize himself with the extensive corpus of literature produced on this most important subject, especially those writings that focus on the long-term deleterious impact of the victims of the Holocaust, the Rwandan Civil War, the Nigerian and Congolese civil wars and others of similar scales and dimensions around the world.

It also depends on the expertise of the doctors or physicians engaged to examine victims of torture and other forms of human rights violation, as claimed by Modern Ghana’s Mr. Abugri. Other than the immediate physical or bodily pains experienced by the victim, there is the psychological aspect of the experience, often called “Trauma” which, according to the experts, that is, mostly psychologists and psychiatrists, could last a lifetime. We must also quickly and emphatically note that in the case of Mr. Abugri, matters are further complicated by the fact that he was not the only cyber-hacking criminal suspect who was picked up by operatives of the National Security Council (NSC) on Thursday, June 27, 2019. One of his other colleagues, by the name of Mr. Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum, had also been picked up by NSC agents at exactly the same time as Mr. Abugri. Mr. Britwum, a Reporter with the Modern Ghana online media portal, has released a statement, through his lawyers, emphatically denying that he had in anyway been unprofessionally subjected to either brutal acts or bouts of torture during the course of his interrogation by NSC operatives.

Mr. Britwum has also broken ranks with his senior colleague, namely, Deputy-Editor Abugri, by deciding to hire a separate attorney. Earlier on, the duo had reportedly engaged the services of Mr. Samsom Lardy Anyenini, the legally licensed Accra-based attorney who also doubles as the host of “Newsfile,” one of the flagship programs of the Multimedia-sponsored radio and television network, Joy-News. Now, absolutely no one can begrudge Mr. Abugri of his inalienable constitutional right to insist on him having been “brutally tortured” during his interrogation at the NSC’s headquarters. But, of course, even as the tired, old maxim goes: “The taste of the pudding squarely lies in the eating of the same.”

In short, the fact of whether, indeed, Mr. Abugri was brutally tortured in a bid to getting him to confess that he was the brain behind an image and reputation-damning news story on the subject or personality of the Minister of National Security, Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah, remains to be proven in court, that is, if this case ever gets to court. There is absolutely no need at this point in the game, as it were, for anybody to unwisely jump the gun. The truth will out, in Shakespearean parlance; the truth will out, when the time is right.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
July 5, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2019

This author has authored 4599 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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