Police Arrest #OccupyJulorBiHouse Protestors During Live Interview

Russell Nketiah Tannor

Police Arrest #OccupyJulorBiHouse Protestors During Live Interview

 Two protestors who took part in the #OccupyJulorBiHouse demonstration were arrested by the police while granting an interview to JoyNews, a Ghanaian media outlet. The incident was captured on video and has sparked outrage and condemnation from the public and civil society groups.

The #OccupyJulorBiHouse protest was organized by Democracy Hub, a coalition of activists and citizens, to demand accountability and transparency from the government over the alleged purchase of a $2.8 million mansion by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta. The protestors accused the minister of using public funds to acquire the property, which is located at Julorbi House in Accra.

The protest, which was scheduled for September 21, 2023, faced resistance from the police, who obtained a court injunction to stop it. However, the organizers of the protest claimed that they did not receive any formal notice of the injunction and proceeded with their planned march from the 37 Lorry Station to Julorbi House.

The police, who were deployed in large numbers to prevent the protest, clashed with the protestors and arrested several of them for defying the court order. Among those arrested were two protestors who were giving a live interview to JoyNews at the 37 Lorry Station.

The video of the arrest showed how the police officers interrupted the interview and dragged the protestors into a waiting bus without any explanation. The protestors, who identified themselves as Safani and Kwame, were heard protesting their arrest and demanding their rights. The JoyNews reporter who was conducting the interview also questioned the police officers on the grounds of their arrest and asked them to respect the media's right to report on the protest.

The video has since gone viral on social media and has elicited angry reactions from many Ghanaians who have condemned the police's actions as brutal, unlawful, and undemocratic. Some civil society groups, such as OccupyGhana and Media Foundation for West Africa, have also issued statements calling for the immediate release of the arrested protestors and an investigation into the police's conduct.

The #OccupyJulorBiHouse protest is one of several demonstrations that have taken place in Ghana in recent times to express dissatisfaction with the government's performance and policies. Some of these protests include #FixTheCountry, #DropThatChamber, #RedFriday, and #FreeAkuapemPoloo. These protests have highlighted various issues such as corruption, unemployment, poor infrastructure, high taxes, human rights violations, and social injustice.

As Ghana prepares for its general elections in December 2023, it is expected that more protests will emerge to demand accountability and good governance from the political leaders. It is also hoped that the government and the security agencies will respect the constitutional right of citizens to express their views peacefully and without fear of intimidation or harassment.

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