A human rights advocacy group is demanding justice for a 16-year-old boy who was allegedly assaulted by three military officers two years ago over alleged stealing of a mobile phone.
The group, Youth for Human Rights Africa (YoHRA), is questioning why for two years, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has failed to act on a petition if filed in 2016.
The group is thus demanding that action on the petition is expedited to get justice for the 16-year-old Christopher Kombian who was assaulted at the Kamina Baracks in Tamale in the Northern Region on April 4, 2016.
It described as “disappointing,” the delays by CHRAJ. “The victim petitioned CHRAJ to launch a full scale human rights investigation into this very dastardly act and make appropriate recommendations to forestall any future occurrence of same.
“It is very disappointing that for such a major public interest matter, the victim has still not seen justice”, the group said in a statement issued Wednesday.For the group, it “is unacceptable” for CHRAJ to conduct itself in that manner.
Read the full statement by YoHRA
On the 4th day of April, 2016, the victim was alleged to have stolen a mobile phone by the three Military persons including Corporal Sampson Atuahene, Corporal Collins Eyison and one other (name unknow), who thoroughly searched him and found no such phone with him. On that same day the victim who usually runs errands for the assailants was invited into the barracks and when he arrived, the military men insisted that he had stolen the phone and started assaulting him.
According to eye witnesses the victim was handcuffed and hanged on a mango tree with his legs suspending. The military men then started assaulting him until he became unconscious. When the men realized that the victim was unconscious, they melted a rubber onto his skin in an attempt to revive him.
When the officers sensed danger, they then rushed the victim to GOD “CARES” COMMUNITY HOSPITAL, and the Medical Doctor at post, Dr. Opoku reported that the victim was carried/rushed to the Clinic on 04/04/2016 with assault marks on the whole body, puffy face, breathing difficulty. Clinical Examination also revealed that patient had Multiple (Deep) assault and victim kept vomiting. The Dr. noted that the victim’s condition was not getting better and then referred him to 37 Military Hospital for CT Scan of the Head.
Upon arrival at the 37 Military Hospital, the victim was turned away because of lack of space. Frustrated by the situation, the brother of the victim called Richard Kombian called the Nsawam Government Hospital for assistance and by the help of the Hospital Administrator, Mr. Kofi Konlan, the victim was taken in for treatment before the issue became public on Friday, 22nd April, 2016 when it was first broken on joy fm.
The victim was discharged by Dr. Amankrah who took care of him since he reported at the said medical facility and the victim was referred to the Clinical Psychology Clinic, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder observation and treatment.
Demands/Concerns of YoHRA
CHRAJ must assist Ghana to fulfill its obligation under Articles 55 of the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal respect for, observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The said violation by officers of the State amounts to infringement of Ghana’s obligation and also an infringement of Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights both of which provides that no one shall be subjected to torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment.
The said brutality also violate Ghana’s obligation under the Convention against Torture, and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Finally the said treatment also violates Article 15 of the 1992 Constitution.
YoHRA feels very disappointed because this complaint was before CHRAJ, before other complaints like “Ford Mahamah” and “Kenbond Saga” which were all politically ‘high-temperatured’ cases. However, CHRAJ was able to quickly investigate and deal with those matters and yet has still not been able to give the victim of this violation any justice. This clearly feeds into the popular Ghanaian perception that the poor, vulnerable and voiceless has no justice in this Country. You must be rich, politically famous, connected and influential to have access to justice. This is very sad for our republic and YoHRA condemns this in all uncertain terms.
YoHRA calls on CHRAJ to immediately prioritize this matter and give the victim justice.