Police Will Provide You Safe Havens; Homosexuals Told

The Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu says the police service would adopt more proactive steps and pragmatic approaches to ensure the safety of lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people in Ghana.

This assurance was contained in a letter by the police service in response to the Human Rights Watch’s report on the violations of the rights of LGBT people in Ghana.

In a letter dated, October 11, 2017 and addressed to the IGP, the group said they would want the contribution of the police service on how LGBTs are treated and what can be done to protect them.

A report published by the Human Rights Watch on Monday examined human right violations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the country. The report recommended a repeal of section 104(1)(b) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 prohibiting and punishing “unnatural carnal knowledge”.

The report concluded that “Having a law on the books that criminalizes adult consensual same-sex conduct contributes to a climate in which LGBT people are frequently victims of violence and discrimination,”

It therefore made specific recommendations to the president, Ghana’s Parliament, CHRAJ and the Ghana Police Service to make homosexuals and the rest feel comfortable living in Ghana.

A response from the Ghana Police Service, signed by ACP Kwame Tsidi, chief staff officer, on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, stated that “the police acknowledge the fundamental human rights and freedom as contained in the 1992 constitution of Ghana…these are inculcated in the things taught to police officers at the National Police Training School Accra.”

Also, paragraph 5 of the IGP’s response places on record that the police stations are safe environment for LGBT persons to report cases.

It further states that the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards bureau (PIPS)  is available for the public to report police’s misconduct in dealing with LGBT persons.

“The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), is also doing a lot in the area of offering protection guidance and counseling to victims of domestic violence”, the police response pointed out.

“Going forward, the police service will adopt more proactive steps and pragmatic approaches to ensure the protection of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals generally,” the Human Rights Watch told.

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