The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice has ordered the military high command to compensate a victim of military brutality Christopher Barmah with some GHC30,000.
The victim was 16-years-old when he was beaten by some military officers.
CHRAJ also recommended that the payment should be done through the Chief of Defense Staff, Ghana Armed Forces, and proof shown to the Commission within three (3) months following the date of the decision.
CHRAJ recommended that the Chief of Defence Staff, Ghana Armed Forces should take immediate steps to put the Respondents on trial in accordance with section 12(2) of the Armed Forces Act, 1962 (Act 105), and the GAF’s Code of Service Discipline.
CHRAJ also recommends that the Respondents should render an unqualified apology to Christopher Barmah which is to be published within 3 months of the decision.
CHRAJ recommends that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice takes steps to criminalize Torture in accordance with Ghana’s obligation under Articles 4(1) and (2) of the Convention Against Torture.
The Commission also recommended that the Ministry of Defence and the Ghana Armed Forces takes steps to ensure that Christopher Barmah undergoes thorough and comprehensive medical examination and and care in any of the Military Hospitals run by the Ghana Armed Forces and also Rehabilitate Christopher to enable him lead a meaningful life.
The Key Findings based of CHRAJ’s investigations which informed the recommendation were as follows:
As of 25th April, 2016 when the complaint was lodged with CHRAJ, Christopher Barmah was 16years and 8months old and hence was a child.
It was also found that the brutalities suffered by Christopher took place on 1st April, 2016 and not 4th April, 2016. CHRAJ found that Christopher, was in fact subjected to brutalities and other dehumanizing acts by the Respondents and another at large on suspicion of him having stolen mobile phone. It was found further that the victim was “totally subordinated to the will and power” of the soldiers for seven (7) hours and that the brutalities meted out to Christopher Barmah was proscribed by Law.
CHRAJ also found that Cpl. Sampson Atuahene and Clp. Collins Eyison were identified and they admitted their culpability for the brutalities, apologized and wanted the Intervention of the Chief of Sheshegu Community to help settle the matter. CHRAJ proceeded because it believed that the degree of torture of this child deserves a redress.
CHRAJ commended F-X Law &a Associates and in particular Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu for his fight for the marginalized and whose effort led to the submission of the complaint on behalf of the victim.