Wednesday, August 6, 2008

'37' Personnel Quizzed By Probe

By Edmund Mingle
Wednesday, 16 July 2008

A number of military personnel at the ‘37’ Military Hospital have been interrogated over their alleged involvement in the detention and torture of some drivers and their mates in the hospital’s mortuary for traffic offences.
A source close to the committee set up by the Special Investigation Branch of the Military Police, told the Times that some civilian mortuary attendants at the hospital were also interrogated.
Although the details of the interrogations were not disclosed, the source said the committee is preparing its report for submission to the Ghana Armed Forces High Command for action.
Last Thursday, 12 drivers and mates testified to the committee about the inhuman treatment that they suffered at the hands of some soldiers and mortuary attendants.
The Times on July 7, reported that some commercial drivers and their mates were subjected to inhuman methods of punishment by military guards at the 37 Military Hospital for flouting traffic regulations in front of the hospital.
As part of the punishment, the drivers and mates were detained at the mortuary and made to arrange corpses, mop the floor and clean the mortuary.
Meanwhile, the 12 victims whose statements were taken on Thursday have been given medical forms to go for medical check up.
The forms were provided by the GAF on Friday, after the GPRTU declined an offer for victims to be examined at the 37 Military Hospital, insisting that an independent hospital should examine them.
The hospital’s management is also conducting internal investigations into the matter.
Meanwhile, President J.A. Kufuor has condemned the incident.
Speaking to newsmen at the Accra airport on their arrival from the G8 Summit in Japan, last Friday, the Press Secretary, Andrew Awuni, said the President took strong exception to the alleged molestation of the drivers and mates describing it as "unacceptable and un-Ghanaian."
Mr Awuni said President Kufuor endorsed the investigation by the Military High Command into the matter, adding that such undemocratic behaviour would not be tolerated.
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice as well as the Ghana Private Road Transport Union have also condemned the incidents.

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