Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has stated his stance on the role of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the governance and development of any country.
In a tweet posted on Thursday, September 21, 2023, the statesman recalled his words from 2008 amidst the illegal arrest by the Ghana Police Service of demonstrators associated with the #OccupyJulorbiHouse protest.
In his tweet, President Kufuor stated, “Respect for human rights, democracy, rule of law, coupled with free and fair elections are essential to good governance and development of peace and security everywhere.”
The police illegally arrested 49 demonstrators on the basis of an alleged illegality surrounding the demonstration.
On Day 1 (September 21) of the #OccupyJulorbiHouse protests by the Democracy Hub, a group of young activists; police illegally rounded up 49 protesters who were marching to demand action on prevailing economic crisis and corruption.
The illegal arrests, especially how they were conducted by the police triggered harsh criticism of impeding the constitutional right to protest and deploying highhandedness on the part of police.
Police sent the detainees to the regional headquarters before splitting them up to about eight police stations dotted across the capital, even as colleague protesters and lawyers worked to secure bail for the illegally detained persons.
In this process, other journalists and protesters who massed up, especially at the Accra Regional Command encountered some amount of police violence including shoving, forced detention, seizure of phones, and in the case of other physical assault.
In their first of two statements on the day, police said the illegal arrests were justified because protesters were defying a court injunction served on them, which process they denied had been properly served.
The second statement addressed the purported arrest of a BBC journalist and his cameraman, which reportage they dismissed as untrue.
By the close of the day, almost all illegally detained protesters per GhanaWeb checks had been released from illegal detention on bail, it remains to be seen whether Day Two of the three-day protest targeting the seat of government, the Jubilee House, will come off today (September 22, 2023).
— John Agyekum Kufuor (@JohnAKufuor) September 21, 2023