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Free Expression: Police Service Has Not “Behaved Responsibly” – Pratt



Ace journalist and managing editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has said the Ghana Police Service has not behaved responsibly when it comes to exercising the right of free expression in the country.

He said instead of the police protecting the rights of Ghanaians to demonstrate, they have rather sought to prevent citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.

The ace journalist said such actions of the police are against the laws of the country and cannot be tolerated.

Speaking with Nana Yaa Mensah on Sunday Night on Asaase Radio, Pratt said, “Unfortunately for us, since 1992, the Ghana Police Service has not behaved responsibly when it comes to exercising the right of free expression.

“They’ve always been obstructionists and I can count the number of times when demonstrators were told they couldn’t demonstrate for one reason or the other and the police actually went to court filing ex-parte motions to stop demonstrations from happening. I think that’s an abuse of the law.”

“Why can’t the police go to court on notice if they have legitimate grounds for objecting to a demonstration? I think that’s an abuse which should not be tolerated at all,” he said.

Pratt said, “The police ought to be part of the broad national effort to build a democratic institution to ensure the rights of people are respected.”

“When the police behave in ways they’ve done over the years, it raises a substantial question about the professionalism of our police. It raises substantial questions about the extent to which political authorities are able to manipulate the police.”

The ace journalist, however, said he will continue to defend the rights of every Ghanaian including members of the NPP to protest.

“I believe that the right to demonstrate is unfettered in the national constitution and every citizen has a right to free expression.”

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