Students of the Ghana Law School and members of the National Association of Law Students have petitioned CHRAJ to investigate the Greater Accra Regional Police Commander and his personnel for abuse of power and a violation of their rights.
Protesting law graduates were brutalised by police personnel on October 7 during a protest march in Accra to petition President Nana Akufo-Addo to push for a scrap of the controversial entrance exams at the Law School, and generally open up legal education.
Police fired rubber bullets and sprayed water on the law graduates from the various faculties across the country in a bid to prevent them from going to the Jubilee House where officials were waiting to receive their petition.
Thirteen of the demonstrators, who insisted on their rights claiming they have an appointment at the presidency, were arrested and later released after they had been cautioned.
The police’s action has been condemned with some, including OccupyGhana, which has demanded that all Commanding Officers who directly supervised, sanctioned and called for “these barbaric attacks on innocent protestors” be punished in accordance with the law.
A week after the incident, the law graduates have submitted a petition to CHRAJ asking it to investigate and determine to what extent the police action constitute abuse of power and violations of their rights and freedoms of embarking on a peaceful protest.
According to them, DCOP Frederick Adu Anim and his officers “infringed on the rights of law students to freely assemble and take part in processions and demonstration,” a right they argued, is conferred on them by Article 21(1)(d) of the 1992 Constitution
DCOP Anim and his officers, the students said, violently arrested about 13 students on Monday, October 7, 2019 and detained them for over 6 hours without any formal charge(s).
The police, according to them “subjected us to cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment when they tortured us with tear gas, water cannons and rubber pellets on Monday, October 7, 2019 resulting in some students sustaining various degrees of injury; some of which were nearly fatal”.
They accordingly want CHRAJ to “Initiate or cause to be initiated disciplinary proceedings and criminal prosecution against any police officer or persons found culpable,” the petition dated October 14 said.