The Ghana Police Service has denied manhandling any of the protesters arrested during the #OccupyJulorbiHouse demonstration on Thursday, 21 September 2023.
The leadership of the marchers condemned the arrest of about 40 of their colleagues and alleged they were handled with brute force.
The main opposition National Democratic Congress also issued a statement condemning the arrest and alleged assault of the demonstrators by the police.
Providing the facts of the issue, howewer, the police said: "In the course of the arrest, nobody was manhandled or beaten", adding: "In the night of same day, 21st September 2023, all those arrested were released to go and none was kept in police cells".
The Police Service said the actions of its officers "were in line with the law".
Additionally, it announced that the IGP, Dr George Akuffo Dampare, "has personally intervened and he is meeting organisers today, 22 September 2023, at 10:00 am".
Read the facts, from the police's perspective:
1. On 4th September, 2023 the Police received Notice to demonstrate from the Democracy Hun group.
2. The Notice is to the effect that the group will embark on demonstration at the Jubilee House from Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd September, 2023.
3. Upon receipt of the Notice to demonstrate, the Police engaged and discussed some modalities and security concerns with the Organisers.
4. During the said engagement, Police informed the Organisers that the Jubilee House among other places are security installations/facilities.
5. Therefore, demonstrating in or around the Jubilee House may endanger public defence, public order, public safety among others.
6. Police in the interest of public order, public safety among others requested the Organisers to relocate the demonstration.
7. The Organizers refused the request by the Police to relocate venue for the demonstration and insisted on their selected venue.
7. Considering the ensued disagreement, the Police on 19th September, 2023 filed an application to prohibit the Organisers from holding the planned demonstration at the Jubilee House from 21st September, 2023.
8. The application which is slated for determination on 26th September, 2023, was sucessfully served on the lawyers of the Organisers ie: Atuguba & Associate.
9. The service of the process on the lawyers was elected and dictated by the Organisers in their notification letter to the Police dated 4th September, 2023.
10. The process was served by a court bailiff and there is a proof of service on the court file and the Police can only get copy of the proof of service upon application.
11. The Police after the service informed the public on the pendency of the application before the Court and as such disregard any invitation by the Organisers to partake in any unlawful demonstration.
12. On Thursday 21st September 2023, some of the demonstrators showed up to undertake the demonstration supposed not to be held due to the pendency of the application before the court.
13. Subsequently, the demonstrators who showed up within the vicinity of the Jubilee House and around their starting point at 37 were arrested for unlawful assembly and breach of the Public Order Act.
14. In the course of the arrest, nobody was manhandled or beaten. In the night of same day, 21st September 2023, all those arrested were released to go and none was kept in Police cells.
15. The actions of the Police were in line with the law and
16. The IGP has personally intervened and he is meeting Organizers today 22nd September 2023, at 10:00 am.