Amnesty International has raised concerns about a surge in police brutality across Ghana, including attacks on journalists in the line of duty. According to Genevieve Partington, the Country Director of Amnesty International in Ghana, a number of these infractions were captured in the latest global report on the State of Human Rights (2022/23) issued by Amnesty International. She noted that police brutality has gone up and journalists have been attacked wrongfully.
The State of Human Rights Document issued by Amnesty International also noted various incidents of police officers using excessive force. For instance, on February 3, 2022, a group of plain-clothes security officers assaulted a radio presenter, damaging his eardrum, when he refused to surrender his phone. Similarly, on May 17, 2022, protesters attacked a police station during a violent protest in Nkoranza, Bono East Region. The police fired shots, killing a bystander and injuring at least five protesters, including gunshot wounds.
In another incident, police used tear gas and fired warning shots into the air to disperse a student protest in the Ashanti Region on June 13, 2022. At least 25 students were treated for respiratory issues and other injuries. The government denied that any live shots were fired at the students, and an investigation was opened with three police officers disciplined as a result.
Joy News’s Latif Iddrisu was also assaulted in the line of duty at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters in Accra. He had been assigned to report on a demonstration of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) against the arrest of the former Deputy General Secretary of the party, Koku Anyindoho.
The use of excessive force by the police has resulted in many victims, including Latif, who continue to reel under the effects of police brutality. Human rights groups have expressed worry over this trend and are calling for the government to take immediate action to address the issue. It is important for the police to uphold the law and ensure the safety of citizens, but this should not be done at the expense of human rights. For the most part, the government must ensure that perpetrators of police brutality are held accountable for their actions and that measures are put in place to prevent further infractions.