Woman assaulted after being accused of witchcraft

The Founding Executive Director of Sanneh Institute has called for the review of cultures, beliefs and customs that are targeted at abusing old vulnerable women.

According to Prof John Azumah, some cultural practices that currently exist in the country still allow for women in this predicament to be subjected to torture under the guise of exorcising witchcraft from them.

“Indeed, Ghana is a very religious country, just like many other African countries. This is a deeply religious belief, it is deeply traditional and cultural. And we hold our traditions and our religions and our culture very dearly, yet, some of these things are harmful.

“As we can see lives have been destroyed, and the families that have been broken apart, countless families, countless lives that have been broken asunder in the north and across the country,” he said.

 Prof Azumah was speaking on JoyNews’ The Probe which focused on Human rights violations: a case of alleged witches.

He insisted that the canker will continue to exist if measures are not taken to eliminate these outmoded aspects of some Ghanaian traditions.

Noting that education is not enough to nip the witch hunting practice in the bud, the Executive Director called for stringent legislation that will serve as deterrent to others.

“These are traditions and beliefs that we need to confront and deal with. Nobody is attacking beliefs nobody is attacking tradition, numbers or packet culture, but if believes culture or tradition, can cause such harm to individuals, to the vulnerable, especially the most vulnerable, then we have to wake up and do something about it.

On Thursday, July 23, 2020, a 90-year-old woman, Akua Denteh was lynched after a traditional priestess at Kafaba near Salaga in the East Gonja Municipality accused her of being a witch.

In a video that went viral, the deceased was slapped, kicked, and caned. She became unconscious and died.

The incident was heavily criticised by Ghanaians including President Nana Akufo-Addo who joined the masses to condemn the gruesome murder of the 90-year-old.

The President described the act as barbaric and urged security personnel to ensure speedy delivery of justice on the matter.

However, two years on, justice is yet to be served as the case is still before court.