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General News
"Prophets" Need Psychiatric Treatment 8/10/2008

Mr. Sam Okudzeto, a lawyer and human rights advocate has suggested that pastors who subject mentally ill persons to all kinds of abuses at prayer camps rather need psychiatric treatment.

There are revelations that widespread human rights abuses take place in several of the so-called prayer camps scattered around the nation, says a study by the Africa Office of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI). According to the report, many of the ‘prophets’ professing to be spiritual healers take undue advantage of spiritual inclinations to maltreat mental patients at their prayer camps.

Mr. Okudzeto, Chairman of the International Advisory Commission of the CHRI, says these prayer camp operators are very harmful to their mental patients and therefore need psychiatric examination. He was speaking on Tuesday in Accra where the CHRI out-doored “Human Rights Violations in Prayer Camps and access to Mental Health in Ghana,” a report of a study, which the CHRI conducted into the activities of prayer camps. The study sampled prayer camps located in three regions – Greater Accra, Central and Volta regions. The study was supported by the US Democracy and Human Right project.

Mr. Okudzeto, also a member of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association believes that the harsh treatment of mental patients is a misconstruction of the word of God. He regrets that anyone who ‘wakes up’ from his dreams says he has been ordained by God to heal and therefore sets up a prayer can to heal. He therefore advocated that people who violate the rights of mental patients at prayers camps should not go unpunished

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