Military frees 150 Ashaiman residents

The military detained 150 persons, largely young men, in certain Ashaiman suburbs; they have since been released. They were released last Tuesday night, according to Ernest Norgbey, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman. A total of 184 local inhabitants were detained, and many of them endured brutal beatings at the hands of the soldiers.

The MP declared that community leaders would bring the issue up in Parliament as well as file a petition with the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). Some of the young people who were detained were transported by bus to Ashaiman last Tuesday night after spending the majority of the day in military detention, according to sources in the neighbourhood who spoke to the Daily Graphic.

Following the reported murder of a soldier, Sherif Imoro, last Saturday, several soldiers stormed the neighbourhoods of Ashaiman Official Town, Tulaku, and Taifa early on the morning of last Tuesday, March 7, 2023. The 21-year-old soldier was reportedly murdered by unknown assailants in Ashaiman, close to the Amanie Hotel.

According to other stories, a group attacked him and stabbed him. One version claimed that the soldier was travelling to his home. This Tuesday (March 7, 2023), some soldiers arrived early for what they claimed was an authorised operation to find the people responsible for the purported murder of their comrade. The soldiers allegedly went door-to-door in the neighbourhood, interrogating residents and ordering them to stay inside.Some young people were detained during this procedure, beaten, and hauled away by the military.

One of the young people who was imprisoned, Abas Inusa, described his experience to the Daily Graphic. He claimed that after being picked up and detained by the military, he returned to the neighbourhood about 11 p.m.

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He claimed that after receiving first beatings from the troops, who used wires on his back, he and other prisoners were transported by bus to Michel Camp for questioning.

They were moved from Michel Camp to Burma Camp for additional screening, according to Inusa. He claimed that while they were being held without food, some of them were only bussed back to Ashaiman after the army had concluded the screening. Isaac Nyadi, a different victim, described his experience as terrible. He claimed that in order to deal with the worry, terror, and despair brought on by the occurrence, he and some of the victims will need professional counselling. A parent whose three sons were dragged up from their home in Ashaiman Official Town, Worlanyo Adzanku, told the Daily Graphic that his sons got home around 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

Mr. Adzanku, who owns a pharmacy, claimed that after his sons complained of physical pains, they were given painkillers.

He stated, “They (boys) told me they were taken initially to Michel Camp but then transported to Burma Camp for screening after which they were put on a bus back to Ashaiman.

The operation in Ashaiman, according to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), was authorised by the Military High Command.

The GAF added in a statement on Wednesday (March 8, 2023) that the goal was not to exact revenge for the soldier’s death, but rather to find those responsible for the horrible crime.

Following the operations at Ashaiman-Taifa and Tulaku in the Greater Accra Region, the military personnel picked up approximately 184 suspects aged between 21 and 47 years and handed them over to the Military Police. The suspects would then be sent to the Ghana Police Service for screening and further action, according to a statement signed by Brigadier General E. Aggrey-Quashie, Director General of Public Relations for the GAF.

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