Rights Activist: It’s unconstitutional to criminalise casting of spells

Mr Sosu

Mr Sosu

A human rights lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu has challenged the authority of the police in their arrest of two persons alleged to have gone to a shrine in the Volta Region to cast spells on some senior government officials including the president and the Asantehene.
According to him, no aspect of the constitution criminalises the exercise of people’s religious rights in the country.

Speaking in Cape Coast in the Central Region to commemorate the 70th International Human Rights Day, Mr Sosu noted that the action by the police suggested that it could also barge into churches to arrest persons who pray against other officers of state.

“There is no law that enjoins law enforcement agencies to arrest people just on suspicion of an exercise of religious right or spell casting or anything of such nature,
the law that allows the police to arrest says the police can arrest upon reasonable suspicion of a crime.

“When you hear allegations of people casting spells and exercising such religious rights you don’t go about arresting them and I don’t think it’s right in the first place since the arrest of the two indicated that the police lacked proper understanding of the constitution.

“What the police did is a violation of the fundamental human rights of the citizenry because every person has the right to religion and to fully manifest it, we all know how people exercise their religious rights.

You go to churches, people pray against those they claim are their enemies, if the police can go about arresting people from shrines because they took some names of some prominent personalities to cast spells, it means the police will have to go to churches.

“There is no place in our laws for the kind of arrest, it must not only be condemned but demand the police never repeat such actions again, the two persons should be entitled to some form of compensation because their rights have been infringed upon.
“The Attorney-General and other actors in the justice sector should ensure a fair resolution to the matter,” Mr Sosu stressed.

Earlier this week media reports indicated that two persons were arrested in the Volta Region for attempting to cast a spell on key state officials who they believe were pushing for the creation of the Oti Region out of the Volta Region.

The young men have been granted bail. –citinewsroom.com

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