Civil society group, OneGhana Movement is demanding the immediate release of unedited video footage of the interrogation of ModernGhana editor while he was in their custody.
This should prove the Council’s denial that Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri was not tortured as he alleged following his release from their detention.
“This we believe will enable us, ‘The People’ to make our own judgement and reaffirm our confidence in the National Security and its ethics,” a statement signed by the Movement’s convener Emily Kanyir Nyuur.
Ajarfor and two others were arrested by National Security operatives on June 27 and charged with stealing and unauthorised access to electronic records.
While in custody, the editor claims he was subjected to electric shock and other forms of torture by the security operatives.
“They beat me a lot,” he claimed in an interview with Joy News’ Roland Walker.
National Security has denied the allegations of torture.
“We consider it to be a clear and deliberate attempt by the suspect to discredit the investigations and the case against him… Torture and manhandling of suspects are not part and parcel of the culture and architecture of the secretariat under the administration of President Akufo-Addo,” the Council said in a statement.
ModernGhana editor Emmanuel Adjafor Abugri (left) and Peace FM editor, Yaw Obeng Manu
But the OneGhana Movement believes the only this denial can be accepted is if the public is allowed access to video footage of what transpired during the detention.
They need this provided because, according to them, an assessment of Ajarfor by both local and international doctors on July 3, “indicates the possibility of battery.”
This, in their view, does not rule out the possibility of torture as being propagated by some media reports.
They, however, note that while this is suggestive, it is not “unequivocally diagnostic of the reported torture.”
The OneGhana Movement also wants the President to initiate radical reforms in the protocols and terms of engagement in all security services to respect and uphold the human rights of all citizens.
“Ensuring their right to counsel in every interrogation, and ensuring absolute audio-visual coverage of interrogations. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Ajarfor’s electronic gadgets.
“We re-emphasize the demand for an Independent investigation into the allegations of torture and urge the Ghana Journalists Association and its members not to relent until justice is served,” the statement added.
Below is a copy of the full statement: