GH¢30,000 compensation to boy assaulted by soldiers not enough – Family

BY: Samuel Doudu

The family of the 16 year old boy who was tortured by three soldiers in Tamale has commended the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for coming out with its investigations and recommendations almost three years after the incident.

The family, however, says the GH₵30,000 compensation package proposed by CHRAJ to be paid to the victim by the perpetrators is not enough.

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“I am going to speak to my lawyer to properly interpret the CHRAJ report to me but as for that GH₵30,000, I am even shocked as to how CHRAJ arrived at that figure. It cannot even cover our medical bills for the past two and half years not to talk about compensating my brother in his current state,” senior brother and spokesperson of the victim’s family, Mr. Richard Kombian said.

According to him, his brother, who is now mentally unstable, has lost his dignity as a result of the brutality he suffered in the hands of the law enforcers.

“These soldiers from all indications wanted to kill my brother for a crime he did not commit. They have indeed destroyed his life, because now Christopher does not behave normal again. How can they torture a small boy for more than 7 hours, burn his naked body with plastic materials, threaten him with a gun and handcuff him on a tree so that no one can rescue him?” he said.


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Christopher Barmah, was assaulted and tortured by the three soldiers for allegedly stealing a mobile phone belonging to one of the soldiers, Corporal Sampson Atuahene.

CHRAJ Report

CHRAJ in its report has recommended that the boy should be granted a compensation of GH¢30,000, and that the payment should be done through the Chief of Defence Staff, Ghana Armed Forces, and proof shown to the Commission within three months following the date of the decision.

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The Commission has also charged the Chief of Defence Staff to take immediate steps to put the military personnel who assaulted the boy on trial in accordance with section 12 (2) of the Armed Forces Act, 1962 (Act 105), and the GAF's Code of Service Discipline.

CHRAJ has charged the Ministry of Defence and the Ghana Armed Forces takes steps to ensure that Christopher Barmah undergoes a thorough and comprehensive medical examination and care in any of the Military Hospitals run by the Ghana Armed Forces and also rehabilitate to enable him to lead a meaningful life.

Background

On April 4, 2016, Christopher Barmah, was alleged to have stolen a mobile phone by three military persons.

The military personnel thoroughly searched the teenage boy but did not find the phone on him.

However, later that day, the victim who usually runs errands for the three military personnel invited Christopher into their barracks and allegedly assaulted him after they failed a second time to get the missing phone from him.

The victim then Petitioned CHRAJ to launch a full-scale human rights investigation into the dastardly act and made appropriate recommendations to forestall any future occurrence of same.