Torture in  [Ghana]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Ghana]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Ghana]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Ghana]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                        

Republic of Ghana

Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorest countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Gold and cocoa production, and individual remittances, are major sources of foreign exchange. The domestic economy continues to revolve around agriculture, which accounts for about 35% of GDP and employs about 55% of the work force, mainly small landholders.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Ghana

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Ghana.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Like a Death Sentence - Abuses against Persons with Mental Disabilities in Ghana

Human Rights Watch, 2 Oct 2012

[accessed 26 July 2017]

People with mental disabilities in Ghana whom Human Rights Watch interviewed endured a variety of human rights abuses in psychiatric facilities and prayer camps. These include, but are not limited to: involuntary admission and arbitrary detention, prolonged detention, overcrowding and poor hygiene, chaining, forced seclusion, lack of shelter, denial of food, denial of adequate health care, involuntary treatment, stigma and its consequences, physical and verbal abuse, electroconvulsive therapy, and violations against children with disabilities.

Ghana’s Treatment of Mentally Ill May Be Torture, UN Report Says

Pauline Bax, Bloomberg News, 10 March 2014

[accessed 17 March 2014]

[accessed 25 August 2016]

The practice in Ghana of shackling the mentally ill to trees, depriving them of food or using electroshock therapy without anesthesia may constitute torture, according to the United Nations.

People with mental disabilities in the West African nation live in inhumane conditions in psychiatric hospitals or are shackled to receive so-called spiritual healing in prayer camps, Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez, said in a report presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva today.

“Shackling of any duration, denial of food and medicine, inadequate shelter and involuntary treatment constitute torture,” Mendez said.

CHRAJ speaks for victims of torture

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2013

[accessed 22 Jan 2014]

Mr Joseph Whittal said the day served as a reminder to all that torture and other cruel inhuman and degrading treatment are international crimes against humanity.   He said in Ghana although the issue of torture was considered illegal, it was yet to be tackled nationwide as grave injustices still persisted within the Ghanaian society.

He said reports of Police brutality remained a recurring problem in communities, while the excessive use of force during arrest, high-handed attempts to enforce law, and orderly conduct as well as forced evictions of inhabitants from their homes and properties by security forces continued to be the order of the day.   Additionally, he said, the inhumane and degrading treatment of persons in detention centres including police cells, prisons and prayer camps continued to be areas where citizens rights were infringed upon with impunity.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/GHA/CO/1 (2011)

[accessed 27 February 2013]

Coerced confessions

13. The Committee values the information and clarification given by the representative of the State party in respect of the 1975 Evidence Decree (NRCD 323), which regulates the taking of evidence in legal proceedings, and which renders inadmissible as evidence statements made in the absence of “an independent witness approved by the person other a police officer or a member of the Armed Forces”. However, the Committee is concerned that the regulation does not refer explicitly to torture. It is also concerned at the lack of information on decisions taken by the Ghanaian courts to refuse confessions obtained under torture as evidence (art. 15).

The State party should ensure that legislation concerning evidence to be adduced in judicial proceedings is brought in line with the provisions of article 15 of the Convention, so as to explicitly exclude any evidence obtained as a result of torture.

The Committee requests the State party to submit information on the application of the 1975 Evidence Decree, and on whether any officials have been prosecuted and punished for extracting a confession under torture.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 28 January 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices; however, there continued to be credible reports that police beat and abused suspects, prisoners, demonstrators, and other citizens. Security force use of torture resulted in at least one death during the year (see section 1.a.). Severe beatings of suspects in police custody reportedly occurred throughout the country but largely went unreported. In many cases, police denied allegations or claimed that force was justified.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Ghana",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Ghana]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Ghana]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Ghana]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Ghana]  [other countries]