The Center for Public Opinion and Awareness (CenPoa) has strongly condemned the police response to the recently held ‘Occupy Julorbi House’ demonstration, organized by the pressure group Democracy Hub.
On September 21, 2023, a segment of the Ghanaian population took to the streets in a peaceful protest to voice their concerns about the hardships currently being experienced in the country.
Despite the police clearly stating that they had not granted clearance for the protest, some protesters proceeded, and the police responded with a harsh approach, leading to the arrest of some demonstrators.
Michael Donyina, the Executive Director of CenPoa, appeared on Citi TV‘s ‘The Big Issue‘ last Saturday, where he discussed the existing mistrust between citizens and the police service.
He urged the police to conduct their operations with integrity and rationality when dealing with such situations to prevent further erosion of trust between the public and the police service.
“The police are only abusing the privilege that they have because they are failing to recognise that these citizens have rights. When it comes to elections, the police are very eager to go and protect ballot boxes to prevent criminals from carrying the ballot boxes away, and preventing these citizens from demonstrating is similar to carrying the ballot boxes away and in this particular case, the police are using the privilege that they have to perpetuate this particular crime against the citizens whom they are supposed to protect, so I definitely condemn any action of the police in trying to meddle into these demonstrations.”
He also emphasized the importance of demonstrations as a means of nation-building and stressed that no individual or organization should be denied their fundamental human rights. He called for accountability within the police force.