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A human rights lawyer has expressed displeasure with continuous displays of unprofessionalism by servicemen in their dealings with civilians.

Francis-Xavier Sosu believes it is an utmost display of irresponsibility for policemen to beat up or brutalise unarmed demonstrators based on of claims that their actions are not backed by law.

The lawyer believes servicemen should be mandated to undergo studies in human rights before they are passed.

“Police officers must pass a course in human rights before they are put out there to go and police,” he told Kojo Yankson on the AM Show on the Joy News channel Wednesday.

Francis Sosu

Francis Sosu

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Mr. Sosu further argued that with unlawful assemblies, it is no excuse for the police to move in with force and abuse protestors.

He explained that if the police are vest with knowledge in human rights, they would deal with arrests of offenders in situations like unlawful assembly better.

“The assembly may be unlawful but you need to use lawful means because that’s why you have been trained,” he stated.

“It’s not a fact that the guy messed up so you mess up…I think we have a big problem with the training of our police officers, particularly in human rights and consideration of human life,” he added.

The lawyer added that the police service should consider setting up a commission that will superintend compensation of victims of police abuse.

He added that officers who are found culpable should as part of their punishment lose their financial benefits when the state needs to cough up money for their actions.

Independent investigation body

 A former Boss of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Justice Francis Emile Short, who also spoke on the show noted that the state should prioritise the establishment of an independent body that will investigate police misconduct.

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Emile Short

He explained that the internal structures the police service has to perform as such, have failed in its mandate.

“The majority of complaints to Police Intelligence and Professional Standards (PIPS) have gone unresolved. Either they have not been investigated or the ones that have been investigated, they tell you the report is an internal matter and they are not compelled to release it to the public.”

Rogue servicemen

The police have consistently faced public and media anger for attacking unarmed civilians.

In March 2018, the then Deputy General Secretary of the NDC was held at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the police. When Joy News’ Latif Iddris went to make enquiries, he was severely beaten by servicemen; suffering a fractured skull as a result.

Eight months later, the police are unable to bring the unscrupulous officers to book.

The officers in charge of the investigation simply said the CCTV at the scene was unable to capture the officers.

When a spontaneous protest erupted in Adentan in the capital a few weeks ago over the knockdown and instant death of a High School student, officers descended to the scene and opened fire on the residents who were demanding that footbridges be fixed on the six-lane highway.

And although they maintain they only fired rubber bullets, the residents insist live ammunition was fired.

Source :

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