Last week it was widely reported in the media, both social and conventional, that an alleged female thief arrested at the Kumasi Central Market was subjected to inhumane treatment by a mob who severely beat her up, undressed her and molested her in the open, to the point of passing out.
The barbaric attack on the woman which almost dehumanised her has been condemned by some human rights activists and many other well-meaning Ghanaians across the country. It is condemnable for anyone to take the law into their own hands to administer mob-justice and it is even abominable to go beyond that to strip a woman naked in public and attempt all manner of indecency on her. The act borders on insanity.
TO state it bluntly, the attack on the alleged thief was not only barbaric as many have described it, but also an insult to women in general. What on earth will make people insert their fingers openly in the private part of an alleged female thief still beats imagination.
THE story making the rounds is that as per the tradition in the Central Market, anyone caught stealing inside the market is stripped naked and molested. And so for those who pounced on the alleged female thief, they were only carrying out a tradition that exists and that is how come the alleged female thief who is said to have stolen money on that fateful day was attacked. That, if it was true, is most unacceptable and in this woman’s case, most disgusting. It should never happen in any civilised society.
IT is against this backdrop that Today joins women and civil society groups to condemn the molestation of the alleged female thief in Kumasi. What was done to her by that mob was criminal. It was wrong in the first place for those people to have taken the law into their own hands and meted out instant justice to the alleged female thief.
THE question we ask is: for how long should our law enforcers watch on for such despicable acts to go on in our society? Why do we allow people to do what they do, as if there are no laws and no enforcers in this country? We should not allow such excesses to go on in a civilised environment like ours. We are very appalled by the actions of the mob and indeed any mob action of its sort.
AND to think of the fact that somebody shot a video of such sickening act and posted it on social media speaks volume of whether some of us have any respect for humanity. The person(s) who shot the video and posted it on social media should bow down their heads in shame.
WE are not by the above saying that criminals should be left to go scot free—far from that! In fact, Today will always ensure that criminals in this country are made to face the full rigours of the law.
THERE are laws in this country which govern our conduct as human beings and we must respect these laws. If for nothing at all, Ghana is a signatory to the international human rights law and our 1992 Constitution also enjoins us as a nation to respect the human rights of every individual. It is for these reasons that when the human rights of any citizen are trampled upon, the law must take its just course, irrespective.
IT is refreshing to hear that the police have come out to strongly condemn the act. Today urges the Ashanti Regional Police Command to go beyond the condemnation and hunt and arrest all those in the video molesting the alleged female thief.
AN example needs to be made of this mob-justice phenomenon which has, no doubt, gained notoriety in many of our localities. There are even places where suspected thieves are tied with car tyres and set ablaze.
WE must all know that our responsibility when we arrest suspected thieves is to hand them over to the law enforces—the police—for them to take it up from there. It does not lie within our power to molest and kill thieves. For all we may know that alleged thief is one of the many innocent persons who are often framed up.
IT is about time as a people we stopped meting out instant justice to alleged criminals. This practice does not bode well for us as a growing democracy. We also urge the police to intensify its education on the fact that mob-justice is criminal and that perpetrators of such an act will be arrested and prosecuted.
Today is hopeful that when the education sinks into our societies such barbaric practice will be completely phased out of this country. On that score we must all say no to mob- justice.
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