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General News
Rawlings To Be Prosecuted 10/8/2009

Former President Jerry John Rawlings would soon be hauled before an international court by an international human rights group and clergymen over hundreds of people who disappeared under his administration.The Amnesty International which would be leading the front has expressed worry over the political imprisonment and detention without trial which went on under the Jerry Rawlings administration.A report by the Amnesty International which is available to the Patriot states that hundreds of political prisoners were detained and imprisoned for 10 years.The report said Flight Lieutenant Rawlings who was then chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), and Captain (Retired) Kojo Tsikata, PNDC member responsible for National Security and Foreign Affairs authorized all the political detentions.“Between 1983 and 1986, at least 90 people were charged and tried in political cases, of whom 50 were sentenced to death and at least 23 executed,” the report said.In April 1991, the Ghanaian authorities under former President Rawlings were unable to provide Amnesty International with lists or statistics on death sentences passed making the total of death sentences and executions higher.The report continued that the majority of political prisoners were kept in detention without the benefit of a trial and without ever being charged.The prisoners, according to the Amnesty International report have often been publicly accused of some form of subversion, but many appeared to have been held solely because of the non violent expression of their political beliefs or because they had incurred the displeasure of government.Many of the prisoners were detained incommunicado and denied access to appropriate medical care for long periods without authorities providing information on their detention.Appeals to the authorities for detainees to be brought to trial or released made by both detainees themselves, their families and human rights organizations were ignored, the report stated and disclosed that some detainees arrested and accused of subversion in the early and mid-1980’s were reportedly tortured or ill-treated.Under Mr. Rawlings’ instructions, the authorities according to the report frequently claimed that it is better for political detainees if they are not brought to trial, since they would risk the death penalty in court.“Indeed, Ghana has had a high rate of executions in the Rawlings era and more than 270 people were sentenced to death and over 95 executed since 1982, at least 23 of them for political offences,” the report said.Amnesty International’s appeal for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, with a view to releasing those who were not to be charged promptly and brought to trial on recognizably criminal charges proved futile.

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