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21.02.2006 General News

Defecating in public is a crime

By GNA

...One could be charged for indecent exposure Accra, Feb. 20, GNA - Defecating and urinating in the glare of the public constituted not only environmental offences but could also attract a charge of indecent exposure, Mr Kwame Amankwah Bosompem, a lawyer, observed on Monday.

Mr Bosompem, who is also of the Public Affairs Department of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), noted that such negative practices which were blights on tourism promotion, had rather become rife at the beaches and streets of Accra because of inadequate facilities to satisfy such demands of nature.

Mr Bosompem made the observation on Monday at the beginning of a three-day training workshop on Human Rights Reporting, organized jointly by the Journalists for Human Rights and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The workshop is focusing on the challenges of reporting on human rights abuses and the natural link between the fundamental principles of human rights and the fundamental ethics of Journalism. Mr Bosompem called for more toilet facilities in the city for free. He said environmental rights were another area of concern in Ghana adding that Ghana in her efforts to promote tourism could make her beaches clean.

He described cleanliness as an attitude and said media reportage had to affect hearts and minds of people to change negative attitudes towards the environment.

Mr Bosompem commended the media on its assistance to the Commission in carrying out its work in human rights promotion, administrative justice and fighting corruption.

"The CHRAJ has no better ally than Journalists," Mr Bosompem said, adding the advances made by CHRAJ in the fight against corruption could not have been made without Journalists.

He called on Journalists to highlight the faults of the Commission, but they must equally crosscheck their facts before publication. "If you shoot at the Commission, you shoot the whole nation down," he said and suggested that Journalists' interpretations should be done without bringing disaster and casting aspersions. They must rather have positive messages of education on human rights issues.

Mr Kofi Akosa-Sarpong, a Journalism trainer, observed that the media drove the key to development and underscored the need to understand the values of one's social setting and to break into the cultures and practices that impinged on accelerated development. He praised Ghana's democratic cultural environment as an emerging centre of democracy in the West African Sub-Region. Mr Akosa-Sarpong called for the development of a new journalism philosophy, based on the past experience of the nation's history. Canadian High Commissioner in Ghana, Mr Donald J. Bobiash, said Journalist for Human Rights were a part of the new global village.

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