The Ghana Police Service is carrying out an education programme to inform the public about their rights and responsibilities in organising demonstrations.
It said the move is premised on the violence that characterised the recent Arise Ghana demonstration in Accra.
“The police wish to take the opportunity to educate the general public on the law that guides the holding of special events, including demonstrations,” it said in a statement.
It said it wants the public to be aware of the police service’s role in special events including demonstrations, in order to appreciate the actions it takes during such activities.
“It will also help the public to understand the actions being taken by the police to bring all who were in breach of the law during the demonstration held on 28th June 2022 in Accra to face justice,” the 15-page education material said.
The police said while the constitution guarantees individuals’ rights to demonstrate, the exercise of such freedoms “is subject to the respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.”
“Under the law, any person who intends to hold any of the above-mentioned special events is required to notify the police at the police station nearest to the location of the proposed special event, of that intention not less than five days before the date of the special event.
The notification shall be in writing and signed by or on behalf of the organizer of the event, and shall specify
• The nature of the special event,
• The time of commencement,
• The proposed route and destination
“Where the Police, notified of a special event, have reasonable grounds to believe that the special event if held may lead to violence, endanger public defence, public order, public safety, public health or the running of essential services or violate the rights and freedom of any other persons shall request the organizers to postpone the special event to any other date or to relocate the special event,” the document added.
The police concluded by indicating its resolve to work cordially with the public to ensure the maintenance of law and order, as it believes it will help to strengthen the country’s democratic credentials.
“We would like to urge the public to take note of the law and work together with the Police to ensure the safety and security of all persons as we work to maintain law and order. Such a partnership with the police will strengthen our democratic credentials as a country, and we owe this to our forbearers, ourselves and future generations.”