Rawlings calls for thorough investigation into lynching of 90-year-old woman

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has called for an investigation into the “cruel and barbaric” lynching of a 90-year-old woman accused of being a witch, at Kafaba, near Salaga in the Savannah Region.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Mr Rawlings said he was appalled by the violence meted out to frail Akua Denteh, who was subjected to lashes and beatings on Thursday, July 23.

The former President called for the arrest and prosecution of all the assailants adding that the appropriate judicial punishment must be meted out to them.

“We are in 2020 and such brutal abuse, especially of women should not be countenanced in Ghana. We rose up in unison when George Floyd cruelly lost his life in the United States. We cannot look on and allow something more callous to happen in Ghana.”

“The police and other investigative agencies, as well as the Attorney-General’s Department, must ensure that this matter is thoroughly investigated.”

Akua Denteh, was slapped, kicked and caned on Thursday after being accused of witchcraft by a supposed soothsayer.

The body of the deceased has since been conveyed from Kafaba by Police in Salaga and deposited at the Tamale Teaching Hospital morgue awaiting autopsy.

With a video of the act trending on social media, some Ghanaians, including recognised civil society organisations have called for justice for the family of the deceased, with a demand for the immediate arrest of the perpetrators.

Flt Lt Rawlings stated that attention must be given to domestic violence adding that too many people, especially women, are being physically abused in their marriages and relationships.

These culprits must be apprehended and made to face the “strong hand of the law,” he added.

While commending the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service (DOVVSU), he urged them to act more swiftly to prosecute those who abuse and terrorize their partners in marriage and other relationships.

The former President said people have become brazen in their use of violence and a lot more effort has to be employed not only by DOVVSU but by the prosecuting authority and the judiciary to ensure that violence is not perpetrated on any individual.

Read the statement below:

PRESS RELEASE

July 26, 2020
RAWLINGS CALLS FOR THOROUGH INVESTIGATION
INTO LYNCHING OF 90-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has called for a serious investigation and arrest of
all who were involved in the “cruel and barbaric lynching of a 90-year-old woman
accused of being a witch, in Kafaba, near Salaga”.

The former President said he was appalled by the violence meted out to frail Akua
Denteh, who was accused in an uncivilized manner of being a witch by a fetish priestess
and subsequently subjected to lashes and beatings on Thursday July 23.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the former President said all the security agencies
should take the matter serious and ensure that it is thoroughly investigated, all the
assailants apprehended and prosecuted and the appropriate judicial punishment meted out
to them.

“The police and other investigative agencies as well as the Attorney-General’s
Department must ensure that this matter is thoroughly investigated and appropriate
charges and prosecution brought against the perpetrators to serve as a deterrent,” the
former President stated.

Former President Rawlings said: “We are in 2020 and such brutal abuse, especially of
women should not be countenanced in Ghana. We rose up in unison when George Floyd
cruelly lost his life in the United States. We cannot look on and allow something more
callous to happen in Ghana.”

A little more attention, Flt Lt Rawlings stated, must be paid to domestic violence. He said
too many people, especially women are being physically abused in their marriages and
relationships and the strong hand of the law must be brought down hard against such
culprits. While commending the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the

Ghana Police Service (DOVVSU), he urged them to act more swiftly to prosecute those
who abuse and terrorize their partners in marriage and other relationships.

The former President said people have become brazen in their use of violence and a lot of
more effort has to be employed not only by DOVVSU, but by the prosecuting authority
and the judiciary to ensure that violence is not perpetrated on any individual.

The body of the late Akua Denteh has been deposited at the Tamale Teaching Hospital
Mortuary while the Savannah Regional Police work to apprehend the culprits.

Issued By:
Kobina Andoh Amoakwa
(Communications Directorate)

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