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The Alliance for Women in Media Africa (AWMA), is calling for nationwide action in defense of women’s right to conduct their business, enter banks or other public places, and live their lives free from brutality, victimization, and assault by law enforcement and their complicit enablers.
AWMA has watched the video in which a police officer identified as Lance Corporal Fredrick Amanor, beat, punched and traumatized a customer, Patience Osafo, carrying her three month old grandchild in her arms.
The horrific assault was caught on camera. It occurred on the premises of Midland Savings and Loans, Shiashie branch in Accra and in the presence of watching staff. AWMA condemns the action and inaction of the staff of Midland Savings and Loans.
Both the victim and the assailant are citizens and subject to the protection and rule of law. According to the law, the police officer committed assault, battery, endangered the life of a child, abused his authority and did all of this in full view of multiple witnesses.
AWMA considers this attack on Patience Osafo as an attack on all women.
AWMA is calling for the following:-
• all coalitions, networks and individuals scandalized by this latest act of police brutality to join a national action in protest of violence against women and vulnerable members of our society. This violence by law enforcement comes in the wake of similar actions, which have caused harm, and in some cases, death.
• that the culprit and his enablers in this particular case be made to face the fullest extent of the law for this criminal violence.
• that the Ghana Police Service does its due diligence; thoroughly investigate, charge this officer and prosecute him. His violence as a man in uniform sworn to protect and uphold the law is a particular outrage.
• that the Ghana Police Service reviews its recruitment practices to ensure rogue elements do not find space within the service to perpetuate such violence against women and other citizens.
• that Midland Savings and Loans be held liable for its inaction and reviews procedures for dealing with violence against customers
Shamima Muslim Alhassan, Convenor of AWMA says:- “there is power in the collective voice and outrage of citizens, we must use that power to demand the protection of all of us from such brutality”.
AWMA welcomes the swift action of the Minister of Interior and the statement from the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
AWMA calls on all women, men and their families to stand together in defense of a national fight to end violence and brutality in our society. A Ghana where a grandmother holding her grandchild is subject to this kind of brutal attack is not a Ghana in which any citizen is safe.
Shamima Muslim Al-Hassan.
AWMA (Alliance for Women in Media Africa) is a network of over 200 women across the media industry who have come together to work towards increasing the visibility and impact of women in media. We recognize the critical role of the media in advancing the progress of societies. But without the progress of women in media, the voices, stories, and images of all women will continue to be insufficiently, unequally and improperly represented.