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The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is calling for the prosecution of police officers who allegedly assaulted journalists from the Ghanaian Times newspaper
According to the human rights agency, news about the assault was received with “great exasperation”.
A statement issued by Commissioner of CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal, showed the frustration of CHRAJ having cautioned the police service “over and over again” to exercise restraint when handling human beings “but to no avail”.
“In this regard, the Commission calls on the Inspector General of Police to conduct thorough investigations into this matter, and on the basis of the findings, crack the whip and deal with the perpetrators of this heinous crime in accordance with the law.
“The Commission recommends prosecution of these errant police officers in a court of competent jurisdiction and not to put them through administrative Service disciplinary enquiry to serve as deterrent to others and to reassure Ghanaians that police officers are not above the law”.
Two journalists of the state-owned Ghanaian Times were assaulted by about 10 police officers and a soldier on Thursday when they decided to film an accident involving a police officer riding an unregistered motorcycle and who got involved in a traffic offence. Another editor was also heckled by the police officers.
One of the journalists, a lactating mother who had her baby through a caesarean section, was hit in the lower abdomen, collapsed, and was rushed to the emergency Unit of the Ridge Hospital while the others were again manhandled by the police.
Citing Article 15 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution, the CHRAJ boss said the “use of excessive and unreasonable force by the police is clear evidence of human rights violation”.
The Commissioner has also recommended that the victims should be compensated for the injuries, trauma and losses suffered.
However, the general public have been encouraged to be law abiding as they enjoy their rights and freedoms with caution, ensuring that they operate within the structures of the law.
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