9 February 2011


Police manhandle members of Right to Information Coalition during protest

This is available in:

English Français
(MFWA/IFEX) - On 2 February 2011, police officers scuttled a planned picketing in Accra by members of the Right to Information (RTI) Coalition at Ghana's Parliament House, to register their displeasure about undue delays of the lawmakers to pass the bill, which was laid in 2009, into law.

The RTI Bill went through the first reading on 5 February 2010. It is now before the Joint Communication and Legal Committee of parliament, and the Committee is expected to conduct a nationwide consultative meeting, but the coalition says the bill is not on the agenda for this session of the House, which ends in June 2011.

About 200 RTI protesters had defied a police order to reschedule the protest as it coincided with a national assignment to be launched by President John Atta Mills and therefore police said they could not ensure the safety of the protesters.

According to Nana Oye Lithur, executive director of the Human Rights Advocacy Centre, and a leading member of the protestors, the reason given by the police was not tenable, so they decided to go on with the protest.

After long negotiations, the police decided to allow ten of the group's leaders to send their petition to the House. The organisers refused on the grounds that the House was a public place and therefore the offer was discriminatory against the group. One of the superior officers ordered his men to charge the group. The police then indiscriminately manhandled some of them.

The group, including some physically challenged persons, was assaulted. Some of the physically challenged persons were pushed off their wheelchairs onto the ground.


Putting free expression issues in perspective.

Sign up to receive IFEX In Context.


IFEX members working in this country 1

More from Ghana
  • Women's rights online: Issues in Ghana

    Although the internet has the potential to bridge the gender equality gap, it is still a hugely unexplored terrain or many Ghanaian women because of issues of access, affordability and knowhow.

  • Freedom of the Press 2017: Ghana

    The Supreme Court struck down 2015 regulations issued by the National Media Commission (NMC) that could have facilitated prepublication censorship.

  • Monitoring of indecent campaign language on radio

    The bi-weekly reports "name and shame" political parties, candidates or activists who use indecent campaign language; and name the radio stations and programmes on which those expressions were used. It is also hoped that the bi-weekly reports will help the electorate to make informed voting decisions. The reports are also meant to provide credible evidence for the appropriate institutions and groups to take informed remedial actions.

At this point, would publish cover: "Home page"
At this point, would publish story-with-same-anchor: "Cabinet approves Right to Information Bill"
At this point, would publish story-with-same-anchor: "Hundreds to march in support of Right to Information Bill"
At this point, would publish story-with-same-anchor: "ARTICLE 19 recommends changes to proposed access to information law"
At this point, would publish story-with-same-anchor: "MFWA urges speedy passage of the Right to Information law"
IFEX is a global network of committed organisations working to defend and promote free expression.
Permission is granted for material on this website to be reproduced or republished in whole or in part provided the source member and/or IFEX is cited with a link to the original item.