Amnesty International calls on Ghana government to investigate human rights abuses  

Amnesty International (AI) Ghana has called on the government to look at human right violations that occurred in 2023 and address them accordingly.

They included women’s and girls’ right, LGBTI people’s right, freedom of expression and assembly, right to health, death penalty and executions and the right to a healthy environment.

Launching its 2023/24 human right report in Accra on the theme, “State of the World’s Human Rights,”Ms. Genevieve Partington, Country Director of AI Ghana said in December 2023, Ghana recorded a total of 187 persons on death row and since 1993 there had not been execution but there was the need to completely abolish the death penalty.

She said in July 2023, Parliament voted in favour of the amendment of two acts that would ensure abolition of the death penalty, more than 95% of persons on death row were for murder cases.

Ms. Partington said the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly continued to be threatened, and authorities used excessive force to disperse protests.

For instance, four years after the murder of Ghanaian investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale, the investigation was ongoing and no one had been brought to justice.”

Adding that, “in April this year, a coalition of media associations asked for a repeal of Section 76 of the Electronic Communications Act and Section 208 of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, arguing that these laws had been “weaponized” to arrest several journalists and restrict the right to freedom of expression.”

She said the right to health were limited in the country, “in February, Ghana Health Service revealed that 27 pregnant women in Bawku municipality had died between 2021 and 2022 due to their inability to access medical services.”

“While some were unable to get to the hospital on time, others died due to staff shortages.”

Mr. George A. B. Aggrey Former Board Chair said Ghana had a lot to do regarding fighting for the rights of every individual regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. 

He called on the President of Ghana to act on areas, highlighted in the report:

He said regarding women’s rights, the government should ensure strict enforcement of existing laws against Female Genital Mutilation, with a focus on protecting vulnerable girls and prosecuting offenders.

“Address procedural issues promptly and sign the Anti-Witchcraft Bill into law to criminalize accusations of witchcraft, providing protection and justice for accused individuals.”

“Prioritize and expedite the legislative process to pass the Affirmative Action Bill aimed at increasing women’s participation in governance and decision making at all levels.”

“Remove import taxes on menstrual hygiene products and make potable water accessible, likewise sanitation, and hygiene facilities.”

On freedom of expression, he said government must expedite the investigation into the murder of Ahmed Hussein-Suale, dedicating sufficient resources and expertise to resolve the case.

He said the government must uphold the constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and protest ensuring that law enforcement agencies facilitated and protected these rights, rather than suppressing them.

On the right to good health he said the government needed to address barriers to health care, particularly for pregnant women by allocating resources and funding to improve healthcare infrastructure in rural areas, ensuring that pregnant women had access to essential medical services and facilities.

Source: GNA

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