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General News Mon, 12 Jan 2009

AI issues human rights agenda for Mills

Accra, Jan. 12, GNA - Ghana, Amnesty International has urged President John Evans Atta Mills to champion human rights in his administration. "We call on President Mills to make human rights central to his political programme and to commit himself and his administration to a clear human rights agenda now that he has taken office," said Ms. V=E9ronique Aubert, Amnesty International's Africa Deputy Programme Director.

In a statement released in Accra on Monday, the human rights organisation listed several areas that it said it expected the new President to tackle.

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These include abolition of the death penalty; significant reductions in the severe level of over-crowding in prisons and other places of detention and eradicating the widespread violence against women and legislative reforms to ensure equal rights for men and women. It also urged President Atta Mills to stop and prevent the practice of forced evictions that have deprived hundreds of men, women and children of their homes and in most cases, livelihoods; ending illegal detention and ensuring prompt and fair trials for the thousands of prisoners awaiting trial-often for periods longer than the maximum sentence prescribed for their alleged offence; putting an end to mob violence, which has led to the killings of dozens of people over the last year and full compliance with Ghana's international and regional human rights obligations and commitments, as explicitly set out in the treaties it has ratified.

"This is a critical moment for Ghana when it comes to its human rights reputation around the world," said Ms Aubert. "We hope that the new administration will grasp this opportunity to build on the human rights advances that have taken place over the last decade and take the Ghana's human rights record to a whole new level," she said.

Source: GNA
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