Women’s groups condemn police actions on demonstrators
The groups are Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT), Women’s Manifesto Coalition, Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, and the Domestic Violence Coalition.
A statement issued in Accra called on the Ghana Police Service and other justice institutions in the country to be guided by the rule of law in discharging their daily duties.
It also called on all citizens to guard the country’s thirty years of democratic governance jealously.
Between September 21 to 23, 2023, a Coalition of hundreds of primarily young Ghanaian citizens, led by members of Democracy Hub, attempted to embark on a peaceful demonstration to the seat of government to press home the call for, among other things, economic reform, and an end to corruption in the country.
The statement said as a country celebrating 30 years of democratic rule, one would expect that citizens’ democratic rights to freedom of association, movement and expression would be respected.
It is, therefore, deeply worrying that the peaceful demonstrators were prevented from marching to Jubilee House on each of the three days and that the Police Service maltreated many of them and arrested 49 people on the first day of the protests.
It said scenes from the site showed needless abuse of individuals simply exercising their rights as citizens of a democratic nation.
“As a civil society organisation committed to women’s rights, we are mindful of the impact of such abuse on families and the society at large and the fact that in these situations, women will bear the brunt of this burden,” it said.
It said they were deeply concerned that such actions by the Police Service curtailed the country’s democratic rights, drastically reduced the space for the legitimate expression of grievances and create conditions for civil unrest and the loss of confidence in the country’s democracy.