General News of Thu, 31 Oct 20137

Police outlaw human right abuses

DCOP Augustine Gyening, Ashanti Regional Police Commander, has re-affirmed the determination of the Ghana Police Service to deal with any personnel who is proven to indulge in human abuse in line with the Police Services' 'Zero tolerance stance'.

He explained that Articles 12 and 17 of the constitution explicitly espouse the Fundamental Human Rights of every citizen which must be protected at all times regardless of the perceived or real sexual orientation of the individual.

He indicated that items 9, 10 and 11 of the Ghana Police Code of Conduct/Ethics explicitly deal with issues relating to Discrimination, Torture, Violence and Treatment, and the Respect of Human Rights respectively.

According to the Police Commander, it is the obligation of Police Officers to ensure that suspects who come before them are treated with all civility, human dignity and respect they deserve and for that matter, personnel would be held accountable for the breach of any of these values, and entreated the instructors to instill these core values in trainees before they come into contact with the civilian public.

The Police Chief made the remarks at a sensitization workshop for Ghana Police Instructors on the New HIV Training Curriculum on HIV/AIDS, Stigma and Discrimination Reduction among key populations.

He stated that the curriculum was developed as far back as 2001 to train recruits and cadet officers on HIV and AIDS related topics, and expressed the hope that due to the changing circumstances of the AIDS epidemic, the current curriculum has been reviewed and issues such as Stigma and Discrimination, Gender Based Violence, Human Rights and violence against a significant section of the population feature prominently in the new syllabus.

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This, he said, is to ensure that all trainees and serving policemen are abreast with these emerging issues and are better equipped with the requisite knowledge to address such issues in their line of duty.

He announced that regular in-service trainings would be organized periodically by the team from the Police AIDS Control Program at both the strategic levels and the middle levels so that these new issues are adequately addressed.

He revealed that most violent elements in society is ignorance, adding that the Police Service does not claim to know everything with regards to issues relating to Violence, Stigma and Discrimination and Human Rights abuse against key populations in Ghana.

"That is why they recognize the tremendous impact workshops such as this have on the overall attitude of their personnel and goes a long way to improve upon their day performance wherever they find themselves", he said.

He said there are rules and regulations binding the performance of their duties, and entreated the trainers at the workshop to come out with useful suggestions to inform the administration on how best they can reduce Human Rights abuses against marginalized groups and also improve upon their policing methods in that regard.

Chief Superintendent, Mr. Jones Bantari, noted that modern day's policing is to protect the right of the public and should not be reactive but proactive, and for that matter since 2001 there has been training to strengthen the current trend of stigmatization and discrimination of Human Rights and Gender Based violence, and when the new recruits come back from School, they become abreast the Human Rights issues to enable Ghana become the lead in modern Policing and be proactive to all those who come to them for their support.

Source: The Chronicle

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