The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, (CHRI) an International Non-Governmental Organization, has called for the prioritisation of human rights awareness to stem violations and to promote good governance.
Mrs Mina Mensah, the Project Coordinator of CHRI, who made the call at a workshop, at Cape Coast, noted that the respect for human rights was a key pillar for good governance.
The workshop was organized by the CHRI with funding from the Australian High Commission, and was aimed at building the capacity of community based organizations on the rights of arrested persons.
She expressed concern that many Ghanaians were unaware of their rights as citizens, particularly, when they were arrested by the Police and this had led to the rampant violation of their rights.
Mrs Mensah said it was CHRI's mandate to work towards the upholding of human rights in Commonwealth nations such as Ghana and stressed the need for the State to protect the human rights of all its citizens.
She said all suspects under police arrest had to be respected and protected but because of the lack of knowledge, the Police sometimes brutalizes and humiliated them.
Mrs Mensah said to promote good governance such acts must be discouraged among the security forces and all citizens better educated to know their rights to complement the State's efforts to protect them.
She said the Central Region was the sixth region to benefit from the workshop and that the CHRI had targeted second cycle institutions because students could disseminate the information better in their communities.
Mr. Eustace Hazel, a Legal Practitioner and a Resource Person for the workshop, said the Police must inform a suspect about his offence in the language he understood and ensure that he was put before a court of competent jurisdiction within a period of 48 hours, adding that, failure to do this was an infringement on the rights of that person.
Mr. Hazel said people were not to be detained on public holidays or weekends but must be given an enquiry bail and also the arrested persons had the right to dignity and could not be beaten, tortured or humiliated in anyway.
He appealed to relevant institutions like the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Police and others to help protect the rights of people.
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