Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, and Gender Activist, Dr Angela Dwamena-Aboagye

The Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, says provisions made in the Criminal Offences Act should be reviewed to make it criminal for bystanders to witness a criminal action and not intervene.

Dr Angela Dwamena-Aboagye’s appeal comes as concerns have been raised about why bystanders looked on without stepping in to prevent the torture and lynching of a 90-year-old woman, Akua Denteh in the Savannah Region.

According to her, Section 78 of the Criminal Code (Act 29) provides for situations where an observer can intervene when they see an unlawful act being committed on another.

However, she explained on the Super Morning Show, Monday, that the subsequent provisions make it difficult for to punish those who consent to crimes done in public.

“If you look at the subsequent sections it is very hard to apply it directly to a case like this unless a judge or a police officer is very creative,” she said.

She explained that it would be a long-winded case, should the existing provision in the law be used in an attempt to prosecute the bystanders who looked on as the elderly woman was publicly tortured and then murdered.

The lawyer and gender activist stressed that the alternative would be to simply review the provisions and tighten the law to allow it application directly in the prosecution of those who do not intervene in such instances.