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Covid-19 : Rebrief personnel on how to deal with civilians – Amnesty Int'l to Security Agencies

By Wendy Amarteifio
covid-19
A civilian punished by security personnel for flouting lockdown directive
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Human Rights group, Amnesty International is calling on security agencies to rebrief their personnel on how to deal with civilians during the partial lockdown in parts of the country.

According to the group, human rights still stand in this period and that the rights of individuals must not be trampled upon. 

His comments follow pockets of alleged abuse of civilians by security personnel who are enforcing the 14 days lockdown period in specific areas announced by the President last Friday, March 27 2020 as parts of measures in containing the spread of Covid-19.

In an interview today March 31, Country Director for Amnesty International Robert Akoto Amoafo disclosed that the group has received series of reports of alleged abuse of civilians, calling on the security agencies to rebrief their men on the field to deal appropriately with civilians who flout the lockdown order by making sure that violence is not meted out to any civilian in this period

''We are not in anyway saying the police cannot sanction people but we are saying that the right sanctions need to be applied and right process needs to be held. This is a clear indication for them to put stringent measures against security forces causing any sort of violence against citizens, it’s important that they ensure that they rebrief their people and make it clear to them that human right still stands and we need to obey and respect the rights of every individual and make sure we do not go beyond what is expected’’.

He further indicated that: ''I have come across a lot of video and pictures drawing attention of the abuse inflicted on Ghanaians across the country. One of the videos entailed a gentleman who was in a shop at Kumasi who was allegedly beaten by the police because he has opened a shop that was a provision shop, even the narration said he was selling bread to someone when the police got to the shop and canned the gentleman.’’

READ ALSO: GAF to sanction soldier who maltreated Kasoa resident for flouting Covid-19 lockdown directive (Video)

On his part, a security analyst Adam Bonaa stated that he isn’t surprised at the manhandling of civilians by security personnel

''I haven’t been too surprised, I was expecting that a lot of education, psychological training in regards to urging the officers to take it easy for the first 72 hours. It is after that period that one will say that anyone who blatantly flouts the law you will have to use minimum force. But we can see some of the excesses very embracing, despicable shouldn’t be happening especially when this is a civilian administration’’.

Meanwhile; Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi are into the second day of the partial lockdown as parts of efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.

READ ALSO:Covid-19 lockdown, 16 persons arrested at Kasoa