NPP executive endorses torturing of suspects

Mr Richard Nyamah

Mr Richard Nyamah[/caption] Deputy Communication Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Nyamah, has endorsed the use of inhumane interrogation methods, including torturing of suspects, by security agencies in the country to extract information. According to him, there is nothing wrong with torturing suspects to have them answer questions posed to them by security officials, claiming even the world super-power nation, the United States uses such methods. “Even the almighty United States at a point use unauthorized means, what they called water-boarding and others to extract information, if that is what will let you get to the bottom of it [a matter]” he said on TV3 New Day Tuesday. Commenting on the alleged torturing of two ModernGhana journalists by some operatives of the National Security last Thursday, Mr Nyamah however said “In the case of the journalist, we have to question it”. An editor of ModernGhana Emmanuel Ajafor and one of his staff Emmanuel Biritwum last were picked up last Thursday for publishing some feature articles about the National Security Minister Albert Kan Dapaah. He claimed officials of the National Security tortured him during interrogation, triggering criticism against Mr Kan Dapaah and the government. According to Ajafor they were tortured, indicating that with their heads covered with polythene bags when they were picked up, electrocuted and slapped for giving unconvincing answers while in detention. But the said claim has since been denied by the National Security.

According to the security agency, the two were picked up for allegedly hacking some emails and financial statements of some competing media organisations in the country. For Mr Nyamah, where it becomes necessary for security officials to extract information from a criminal who may not be cooperating, he would approve of unorthodox interrogation. “…Where you have criminals trying to turn your country an abode of criminal activities and launchpad to do things, I seriously at a point will, even if I were the head [of that security institution], sanction of these things,” he stated. In the case of the two journalists, the Deputy Communication Director called for decorum in discussing the issue about the alleged torturing of the journalists until medical checks are carried out. “I think all the condemnation from the civil society organizations and associations are in order, but I will urge us to hold our horses until the medical examinations are done and some confirmation and denial put out there then we go on,” Mr Nyamah appealed. Mr. Nyamah argued that “sometimes I think we take this argument of what we call constitutional rights, human rights, we take it too far.” Meanwhile, Communications Director of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi who was also a panelist on the show said he was scandalized by the allegation and called for a national protest against the government. “Even in Guantanamo Bay that Richard alluded to, what do they do there; water boarding isn’t it.  In Ghana, a democratic country like Ghana, we will be electrocuting suspects? What Richard said here, itself, betrays the lack of respect of this government for fundamental Human rights and press freedoms,” he said
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By Paul SelormAgbo||Ghana]]>