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Police arrest ruling party demonstrators

(MFWA/IFEX) - Volta Regional Police Command on August 3, 2011 scuttled a demonstration by some ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters after arresting eight of them for allegedly demonstrating without police authorization.

The group, Volta Regional Youth Action, was on the streets of the Volta Regional Capital, Ho, protesting against the Regional Minister, Joseph Amenowode, and the Municipal Chief Executive, Isaac Kodobissah, over allegations of incompetence. The group claimed that the incompetence of the two officials had led to under-development in the region, which is an NDC stronghold.

Alhaji Bello Misbaw, a spokesperson for the group, told Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) that the protesters were released on bail after presenting written statements to the police. He said they were to report to the police on August 8.

Alhaji Bello said the group had duly notified the police before embarking on their action. He also alleged that two of the protesters were roughed up by police for resisting the unlawful arrest.

Regional police commander Alex Bedie has justified the police action however, saying that the group did not have approval for the demonstration and lack credibility as an organization.

MFWA is saddened by the recurring efforts by police to thwart citizens' attempts to exercise their legitimate right to protest peacefully.

In March of this year, teachers who were demonstrating while their leadership was holding meetings with the Labour Commission and the Ministry of Education were brutally beaten by police for exercising a right guaranteed under the constitution.

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