Former President John Agyekum Kufour has reiterated his belief in the importance of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in governance and the development of any country. He made this statement in a tweet on September 21, 2023, while reflecting on his previous words from 2008 in the context of recent events involving the illegal arrest of demonstrators associated with the #OccupyJulorbiHouse protest in Ghana.
President Kufour’s tweet emphasized the significance of upholding human rights, fostering democracy, adhering to the rule of law, and conducting free and fair elections as essential components of good governance and the promotion of peace and security.
The background to this statement involves the #OccupyJulorbiHouse protests organized by the Democracy Hub, where 49 protesters were illegally arrested by the Ghana Police Service during the demonstration. The protesters were advocating for action on economic crises and corruption.
The arrests sparked criticism regarding the infringement of the constitutional right to protest and allegations of police heavy-handedness. The detainees were reportedly taken to various police stations across the capital, and there were incidents of police violence against journalists and protesters.
The police initially defended the arrests by claiming that protesters had defied a court injunction, which the protesters disputed, arguing that the injunction had not been properly served.
By the end of the day, most of the detained protesters had been released on bail. The situation remained uncertain for the following day of the protest targeting the Jubilee House, the seat of government.
President Kufour’s statement underscores the ongoing debate and concerns surrounding the protection of civil liberties, freedom of expression, and the right to protest in Ghana, as well as the broader issues of governance and the rule of law.