Military Releases 150 Ashaiman Residents from Custody After Tuesday’s Brutality
About 150 people, mostly young men, who were arrested by the military in some suburbs of Ashaiman have been released.
According to the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman, Ernest Norgbey, they were released last Tuesday night.
About 184 residents of the town were arrested and many of them were subjected to severe beatings by the soldiers.
The MP said the leadership of the community would petition the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and also pursue the matter in Parliament.
Sources in the community told the Daily Graphic that a number of the arrested young persons were bussed to Ashaiman last Tuesday night, having spent a greater part of the day in the custody of the military.
Some soldiers, in the early hours of last Tuesday, March 7, 2023, stormed the Ashaiman Official Town, Tulaku and Taifa neighbourhoods to carry out a swoop following the alleged killing of a soldier, Sherif Imoro, last Saturday.
The 21-year-old soldier was reportedly killed by unidentified persons near the Amanie Hotel at Ashaiman.
Some reports said he was attacked and stabbed by a gang.
According to one account, the soldier was on his way to his family home.
At dawn last Tuesday (March 7, 2023), some soldiers arrived in army trucks and buses for what they said was a sanctioned operation to fish out the alleged killers of their colleague.
The soldiers allegedly went round the neighbourhood, knocking on people’s doors, questioning them and forcing people to remain indoors.
In the process, some young people were arrested, subjected to beatings and taken away by the military.
Narrating his ordeal to the Daily Graphic, one of the young persons who was arrested, Abas Inusa, said he returned to the community about 11 p.m. after he was picked up and detained by the military.
He said after initial beatings received from the soldiers, who used wires on his back, he, together with others, were bussed to Michel Camp for interrogation.
According to Inusa, from Michel Camp, they were transferred to Burma Camp for further screening.
He said they were denied food while under detention and it was only after the soldiers had finished the screening that some of them were bussed back to Ashaiman.
Another victim, Isaac Nyadi, described as traumatic the experience he went through.
He said he and some of the victims would need psychological support to help them deal with anxiety, fear and depression as a result of the incident.
At Ashaiman Official Town, Worlanyo Adzanku, a man whose three sons were picked up from their home told the Daily Graphic that his sons arrived home at about 11 p.m last Tuesday.
Mr Adzanku, who operates a pharmacy shop, said his sons were given pain killers after they complained of bodily pains.
“They (sons) told me they were first taken to Michel Camp but later transferred to Burma Camp for screening after which they were put on a bus back to Ashaiman,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has explained that the operation at Ashaiman was sanctioned by the Military High Command.
In a statement issued last Wednesday (Mar 8, 2023), the GAF said the motive was not to avenge the killing of the soldier but rather to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
According to the statement signed by the Director General of Public Relations of the GAF, Brigadier General E. Aggrey-Quashie, following the operations at Ashaiman-Taifa and Tulaku in the Greater Accra Region, the military personnel picked up about 184 suspects aged between 21 and 47 years and handed them over to the Military Police and would subsequently be sent to the Ghana Police Service for screening and further action.