The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, says the 2021 Country report on Human Rights Practices released by the United States’ State Department is a very valuable tool to addressing Ghana’s democratic shortcomings.

According to him, following the release of the report, issues which hitherto had been documented but where not discussed by mainstream media have taken center stage on all media platforms.

This he says will push the government to react and address the concerns raised in the report.

The latest Country Reports on Human Rights Practices highlight issues including; denial of fair public trial, corruption and lack of transparency in government, arbitrary deprivation of life and other unlawful or politically motivated killings.

The others are freedom of expression, including for members of the press and other media and elections and political participation.

 Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he noted that the report further legitimizes the work being done by local activists and non-governmental organisations in demanding accountability and transparency from the government.

He said, “I think that it is very, very valuable. In the human rights work and human rights advocacy, exposing the issues is a major step in dealing with the problem. Now, I believe that we are having this conversation because of this report.

“If this report hadn’t come in, yes, we had documented these issues, we had raised concerns about them, in fact when Honourable Kennedy Agyapong threatened Erastus Asare Donkor, we filed a petition to Parliament, and to the National Security Minister, we had the opportunity of meeting with the National Security Minister, and we brought in Erastus from Kumasi, so he was part of it and some assurances were given and all of that.

“But I believe we’re having this conversation because an international partner has decided to document this and to highlight it; and to amplify the fact that look these are matters of concern, these are matters that undermine our democracy and even if it is for the purpose of the attention of we local actors and also the government, I believe that it is a major step towards helping us to deal with some of the issues that confront our democracy.”

He added that he would rather be surprised if the government of Ghana decides to remain quiet concerning the report.

“I believe that they will react, they will come out and let us know whether they disagree with the report, what steps they’re taking to address some of the issues that have been raised that of course we all know are real – the investigation into the murder of Ahmed Suale, the incidence of National Security officials abusing journalists and other actors.

“These are matters that the government cannot deny and we’d be looking forward to hearing government on what steps are being taken to help deal with these matters,” he said.

“So I believe that it is a report that is valuable even for the fact that it is triggering this conversation, and it is not only on this platform, throughout the day, throughout yesterday the conversation on many of the platforms have been about this report and to that extent indeed it is something that is valuable to our reflections and our engagement with the government,” he added.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.