Barker-Vormawor arrest, threats of violence against journalists, unjustified detention feature in US State Department’s 2022 report

The 2022 arrest of Oliver Barker-Vormawor, the convener of the #FixTheCountry Movement, limitations on free expression and police impunity in Ghana were highlighted as human rights violations in the US Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2022.

The country is also cited for violating the rights of LGBTQ+ targeting and the lack of investigation and accountability for gender-based violence.

Released in April 2023, the report highlighted “Significant human rights issues included credible reports of arbitrary or unlawful killings including extrajudicial killings; torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by the government or on behalf of the government.

It noted “arbitrary arrest or detention; serious restrictions on free expression and media, including violence and threats of violence against journalists, and unjustified arrests or prosecutions of journalists; substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly.”

There were also cases of “serious government corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for gender-based violence, including domestic or intimate partner violence.”

The report took an exception to “crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex persons; laws criminalising consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults, although not fully enforced.”

Also, the report highlighted “crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting persons with disabilities.”

The US Department noted that although the Akufo-Addo government “took some steps to address corruption and human rights abuses by officials, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government impunity remained a problem.”

Click here for the full report

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