Photos Of Ghana Police Beating Peaceful Protesters At “Let My Vote Count” Demo

Photos Of Ghana Police Beating Peaceful Protesters At “Let My Vote Count” Demo Photos Of Bloody Demo At Adabraka

What was originally intended to be a peaceful protest march by the Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMCA), in collaboration with Movement for Change (MFC) and the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), rather turned bloody when the police clashed with the protesters.

The organisers staged the protest to put pressure on the Electoral Commission (EC) to open a new voter register for the crucial 2016 polls as they said the present electoral roll is bloated with foreigners “who cannot elect a president for Ghana.”

The violence erupted when confusion broke out at Adabraka, a suburb of Accra, over the route for the march. Police used brute force to whip the demonstrators into line and succeeded in scattering them.

It was like a battlefield, with the heavily armed police personnel chasing the protestors. Security was equally beefed up, especially at the presidency where armoured tanks were positioned at vantage points and Afrikiko, a popular restaurant and recreational spot.

The protestors planned to picket at the premises of the EC at Ridge in Accra to present their petition for a new voter register for the 2016 general elections.

But the heavily armed police personnel would not allow that because of a court order which asked the protesters not to picket near the EC.

The protestors, who were not happy with the late change of the route, tried forcing their way to the EC office through the Adabraka-Castle Road, resulting in the clash.

Tear Gas/Beatings

In the process, the police fired tear gas indiscriminately and used pepper spray to disperse the charged crowd, injuring many as a result.

As the protestors ran for safety, the police, who had divided themselves into groups, chased and mercilessly beat them with horse whips and canes.

For close to two hours, the police were firing tear gas, rubber bullets and chasing the demonstrators along the main Circle to Accra road.

One of the tear gas canisters landed at the Grey Memorial Basic School, causing the teachers and the pupils to run helter-skelter.

No person and vehicles were allowed to ply the route leading to the Holy Spirit Cathedral from Adabraka, with the Castle Road virtually taken over by the police.

Protesters Arrested

In the heat of the melee, over 20 members of the Let My Vote Count Alliance, including the convener of the group, David Asante, were arrested by the police for allegedly using unapproved routes in their march to demand for a new electoral register.

Gabby’s Ordeal

Some NPP stalwarts were also arrested, including Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, who was later released. He was beaten with baton and horse whips by the police officers without any provocation.

According to Gabby, he heard someone commanding one of the security personnel to arrest him, explaining that one police officer grabbed his hand but he lifted both hands while being taken away to indicate his readiness to cooperate with them.

He however indicated that one police officer came from nowhere to beat him up.

Gabby later twitted: “Whiles in police custody, another police officer walked to me to lash me with horse whip. Later, another two attacked me with batons.”

Police Blamed

The organisers blamed the police for the violence that took place.

David Asante, in a statement released late yesterday, said nothing and absolutely nothing warranted such excessive use of force as applied by the police on the peaceful protest march of the armless members of LMVCA, MFC, AFAG and several other trade groups and associations.

“The only crime of these Ghanaians, perhaps, is that we want the Electoral Commission to discard the 2012 biometric voters’ register and compile a fresh credible one for the 2016 elections,” he noted, wondering, “What can be wrong or unlawful with this harmless demand?”

Mr Asante said LMVCA and its ally civic groups consider the high-handedness of the police in yesterday’s protest march a threat to Ghana’s democracy, which must be quickly checked and not allowed to become the order.

“The police might have succeeded in ending the protest march, albeit prematurely, by their expression of unreasonable brute force, but let them know that our spirits are fired up because we know our demand is just,” he emphasised while serving notice, “We are not backing down on our request today or tomorrow.”

In that regard, he said, “The Ghana police must be made to understand that they might have the might of the guns and other firearms, but they are certainly not mightier than the collective will of the people. If this is how the police is going to manage the processes leading to the 2016 elections, then Ghanaians should brace themselves because they have clearly shown us their intentions.”

Mr Asante added, “We would however send a strong warning that we will resist every form of oppression so long as our demand is just.”

Police Congratulated

Soon after the police had cleared all the protestors from the streets, one of the senior commanders (woman) arrived in her car and congratulated the police personnel for a job well done, after which they were served with sachets of water and soft drinks to quench their thirst.

Some of the policemen seemed to have enjoyed the fact that they were allowed to visit brutality on innocent citizens as they laughed after they had been commended by their bosses.

The Demo

The demonstration, which started about 11am, was participated by thousands of people, with many dressed in white attires, holding various placards amidst drumming and dancing.

Some of the placards read, “No ECOWAS Register,” “No New Register No Vote,” “We Want New Register Now,” “Please Madam Don’t Repeat Afari-Gyan’s Mistakes.”

The demonstration was attended by some bigwigs in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) including John Boadu, National Organiser; Bernard Antwi Boasiako, aka Chairman Wontumi, Ashanti Regional Chairman; Peter Mac Manu, former Party Chairman; Sammi Awuku, Youth Organiser; Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko; Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central; Maxwell Kofi Jumah, former MP for Asokwa and Kofi Brako, MP for Tema Central.

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