A question I wish to ask my fellow Ghanaians is, How long will military brutality on Suspects of crime and the slowness of military reform continuo?. How long will the Ghanaian media also do the right thing and without hurting others?
Bawku has always been great community filled with talented and determined young people who through no fault of theirs suffer unspeakable violence that has been on-going in the area for a long time. It is a fact that this has had negative effects on not just the development of the area but also affected individuals who have lived and served the community with all honor and humility
The presence of military in Bawku have helped calmed down the situation on multiple occasion. Unfortunately I believe that the presence of the military is beginning to torment the innocent people in Bawku which needs argent attention from the government and leaders in the area. Interestingly some military men have served in the community for so long that they have developed personal relationship with the lovely people of Bawku. This group of the military through indecent behaviors have dispute with people of the area on various subject mostly “The Girlfriend Affairs” which has become more of personal issues.
At many point of the conflict, innocent people have suffered multiple maltreatment experiences with military brutalities identified as the specific form of maltreatment most reliably associated with the conflict. The military have always denied the fact that innocent people in the area have be victims of their unwarranted behaviors instead of doing proper check before taking unnecessary action on the so called suspects. We need to teach our military some real theoretical work that will help them differentiate between a “suspect” and a “person proven guilty by law”. It is disheartening to see how our young brothers are being brutalized by some unscrupulous soldiers in Bawku as a result of the tribal clashes between the Mamprusis and Kusaases.
The recent brutality of the two young men arrested and stripped naked in public as well as their torture does not only violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Conventions against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment (CAT), but also the Ghanaian Constitution.
Though I respect the placement of the Video containing the incident of the military brutality on Youtube and Ghanaweb with the view that it is a part of the “democratization of information”, I do wish to say that it is unprofessional of the media to have done that and puts Ghana on the darker side on the international scene. It is high time for the Ghana Journalist Association should begin offering media with guideline for publications they make and where they put this information.
This is a call on the leaders of Bawku and our government to wake up to the plight of the citizen in the Bawku traditional area and also protect the individual human rights of all person including suspects of identified crimes. Suspects who are even found guilty have their rights and these are their fundamental human rights which should be respected.
International Honors Society – Phi Theta Kappa City University of New York – KCC