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Human rights group launches book on Police-Public dealings

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Ghana PoliceThe Commonwealth Human Right Initiative (CHRI) on Wednesday launched a book aimed to educate the public on their rights when dealing with the Police.

The 35-page book, which deals with pertinent questions to ask when dealing with the Police, was published with assistance from Australian Aid.

It is entitled: “101 Things you wanted to know about the Police but Were Too Afraid to ask”.

Some of the thematic areas which are addressed in the book include questions likely to be asked during Arrest, Detention, Interrogation, Legal Aid and Bail.

Speaking at the launch, Ms Mina Mensah, CHRI Africa Regional Coordinator, noted that many mistakes are committed by both public and police officers during the performance of key duties such as arrest, seizure, prosecution, crowd control, and crime control.

She said CHRI had been working on police reforms in Commonwealth countries for more than a decade due to its commitment towards ensuring positive changes in the Police Service.

“In Ghana, we began working on the issue of police accountability since 2005 with the view of advocating reforms of the Service to bring it in line with modern and international human rights standards,” she said.

Ms Mensah expressed appreciation to Australia Aid for sponsoring workshops aimed at educating Ghanaians on their human rights across the 10 regions.

She said CHRI offices in countries such as India, Kenya and Uganda had published their own versions in various languages.

“Although, the public have a role to play in ensuring accountability, however, it is only a well-informed citizenry, which can, not only demand accountability, but also appreciate and support the police to perform effectively and efficiently.”

Mr Sam Okudzeto, Executive Chairman, CHRI Africa Office, called on Ghanaians to get themselves abreast of the 1992 Constitution to know their rights and responsibilities.

He lauded the publication of the book, saying it would help expand the scope of people knowing their rights.

Mr Okudzeto urged Ghanaians to note that the Police Service is not the law but a system put in place to ensure that the laws in the country work or are adhered to.

Ms Joanna Adamson, Australian High Commissioner, who launched the book, said more than 2, 000 copies have been distributed to schools and organisations across the country to enable people know their rights and duties as far as the Police Service is concerned.

She appealed to the media, the Judicial Service and the National Commission for Civic Education to intensify education on the rights and responsibilities of Ghanaians as enshrined in the constitution.

Source: GNA

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