Police stop Black Lives Matter vigil in Accra

A combined team of police and military, on Saturday, stopped a Black Lives Matter vigil organised by the Economic Fighters League for not seeking authorisation and breaking the law.

Ernesto Yeboah, leader of the group, arrested at the event held at the Black Star Square in Accra, was granted bail yesterday by the Accra Central Police Command.

He is facing charges for breaching the Executive Instrument (EI) 64 under the Imposition of Restrictions Act and failure to notify the police before the vigil.

The vigil was in solidarity with similar protests ongoing in the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom, France, and other countries against police brutality in the US, after an African-American; George Floyd was murdered following manhandling by police.

Mr Yeboah was addressing participants on the need to end police brutality, among other human rights and oppression, when the team clamped down on the event and whisked him away.

In a video shared on social media after his bail, Mr Yeboah stated, that, he would continue to seek freedom for Africans and the continent despite the arrest.

“The handcuffs are off. But as I keep saying, do not be afraid of the handcuff. It is with the handcuff that we will seek our freedom. It is with the handcuff that Africa shall unite. It is with the handcuff that we shall access economic freedom in our lifetime,” he stated.

In an interview, the group said it appropriately notified the police in line with the Public Order Act before undertaking the vigil

“The notice of vigil was issued to them (the police), and it was also made public. We served them a copy as well as the Interior Minister, Foreign Affairs, Inspector General of Police and Regional Police Command. They did not raise any objections and if they did, we could have had that discussion,” he added.

Mr Yeboah said the group did not violate the EI 64 as stated by the police, stating that “because of the EI 64, everyone who came to the ground of the vigil was given a hand sanitiser to sanitise their hands and a face mask, if there were not in any.”

He described the actions of the police as unlawful, but noted that the group would not be deterred, saying that “we will fight to ensure that killings of innocent persons in this country and other parts of the world are not allowed.”

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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