Violence against anyone is unjustifiable. We do not in any way support the violence that occurred over the weekend at the St. Paul's Boys Senior High School in the Volta Region as reported in the media. We strongly condemn the use of firearms by the police in this instance and also worried about the attempt by the students to lynch their colleagues on suspicion that they are homosexuals.
Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) is keenly following this incident to ensure that:
1. The Ghana Police Service as soon as possible comes out with a detailed report on the issue of the stray bullet that killed the first year student as reported.
2. The students who are suspected to be homosexuals are treated fairly by:
1. Not putting them in an adult cell because they are children as required in Section 17 of the Juvenile Justice Act (Act 653)
2. Not making them speak or make any statement until they have a guardian or a lawyer who will represent them as required in Section 13 of the Juvenile Justice Act 2003 (Act 653)
3. The Police ensure that the children are protected from any harm (seen their images is already in the media)
Mob justice is not right. It has many disadvantages especially the abuse of fundamental human rights. We encourage the general public to desist from any form of mob justice on suspected offenders. Such offenders have human rights and by law are innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law.
We encourage the media to desist from sensationalising the issue of homosexuality and rather focus on the human elements of the death of a protesting student and the potential mob justice against two students who have not been investigated and trailed.
All individuals are humans and are therefore entitled to human rights as enshrined in Chapter 5 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and all other international instruments.
Robert Akoto Amoafo
Human Rights Advocacy Centre