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25 January 2017

Parliament begins probe into alleged police brutality

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Parliament has opened a probe into allegations of repeated use of brutal force by the Police during riot control situations, leading to deaths and injuries.

The probe follows an oral presentation on the floor of the House Tuesday by Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarack, who narrated the story of how a 19-year-old constituent who was shot by police last month.

He indicated that apart from an appropriate compensation for the victim, the larger issue of Police needs to be looked into.

Speaking on the floor of the House, the Kumbungu Legislator said in December 2016, the 19-year-old boy, Ganiru Abdul Rahman, was returning home from school when he was caught in a standoff between rioting youth of Dalun and Police.

He was hit in the leg by a stray bullet fired by the police, he told the House.

The teenager has been admitted at the Tamale West Hospital where he is receiving treatment, the MP revealed.

“I have been to the hospital to see the extent of his injury and commiserate with his family. I believe the whole house will join me in expressing revulsion and call on the police administration to institute an enquiry into the matter,” he said.

Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Oquaye then referred the matter of mounting allegations of sporadic shooting by the Police during riot situations to Parliament’s Committee on Interior for further investigations.

Minister Designate for Interior and Lawra Legislator, Ambrose Dery, has assured the House that reports of Police brutality will be given dealt with under his leadership.

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Reports of alleged brutality by the institution charged with public safety are common.

During a 2015 demonstration by Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) to push for a clean electoral roll, Police allegedly beat up some of the demonstrators.

One demonstrator lost an eye when a teargas canister hit his face as Police moved to control the crowd.

Although the New Patriotic Party (NPP) called for a probe into the incident, it was not heeded.

 

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