IGP insists: Julorbihouse demonstrators have no evidence of police brutality

Producing evidence of police brutality has been as difficult as squeezing water out of stone for the ’Julorbihouse’ demonstrators, Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare has said.

He added, “We challenged you to bring evidence that you were brutalized. As I speak, after months of completing the demonstration, not a shred of evidence has been brought up against the police.”

About 48 people were picked up by the police on September 21, 2023 in an attempt to prevent unlawful protest, but the arresting officers were accused of subjecting them to brutalisation.

According to the IGP, the suspects, despite being arrested, had their communication gadgets on them, with some even going live on social media to peddle falsehood, while being bussed to the police station.

Dr Dampare’s comments followed a question asked by ace musician, Rex Omar, about the conduct of the police towards demonstrators, when members of the creative industry and others met the police hierarchy in Accra recently.

The meetings were part of a series of engagements with various stakeholders ahead of the Christmas and the New Year season.

IGP Dampare told the Musicians and officials of TUC, during those meetings, that when the allegation of brutality was made against his men, he took it up upon himself to also investigate, but no evidence was adduced.

He said commuters and drivers using the Liberation Road, as well as patients receiving treatment from the 37 Military Hospital bore the brunt of the demonstrators that day.

The Public Order Act 1994 (ACT 491) allows staging of demonstrations, but provides guidance on how the demonstration should be conducted.

The Act provides that the police should be notified within five clear days through writing, indicating a proposed route and destination, date, starting time and closing, nature of event, and expected number of people who will attend.

However when  the police realise the special event will endanger public defence, safety, order, health and or violates the delivery of essential services and the rights and freedoms of others, the special event date or location could be changed.

Dr Dampare added: “Your right to demonstrate should not compromise the rights of another person and it should not be in the breach of the law.

We want you to understand that the police are not against demonstration. It is not true that the police are denying individuals from demonstrating because if we do that we are in conflict with the law.”

The IGP said often the organisers approach the police with an entrenched position, giving the peacemakers no choice than to seek redress from court.

Regrettably, he said, instead of the organisers adhering to the court orders, they would rather court public sympathy by going on social media and other platforms to make wild claims that the police are denying them the right to demonstrate.

On the Christmas and New Year celebrations, the IGP promised to make the festivities incident free.

He assured the public that the police administration will be intensifying security, to enable people to go about their businesses in peace.


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