The Minority in Parliament has condemned the treatment of some illegal miners, who were reportedly arrested on a concession belonging to AngloGold on July 15.
According to the Minority, the military’s response to the offenders was abusive and inhumane.
Addressing the press on Tuesday, Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, John Jinapor noted that even though there is the need to combat ‘galamsey’, it must be devoid of the brutalisation of citizens.
“The Minority finds this development most unfortunate, disturbing and we strongly condemn the brute, excessive and disproportionate force in the so called fight against illegal mining.
This flagrant disregard of our laws and Constitution under the Akufo-Addo government is most unfortunate and must be roundly condemned in the strongest terms possible.
We find this incident despicable. We find this incident unfortunate. And we find this incident highly reprehensible”, he said.
Reiterating the Minority’s concerns, Mr. Jinapor said they are also disturbed by the silence of government regarding the incident.
He added that owing to the high level of unemployment in the country, the fight against illegal mining must be done in accordance with the law.
“We will not countenance any attempt by this government, using military force to brutalise, maltreat and subject ordinary Ghanaians to inhumane treatment”, he continued.
Mr. Jinapor also bemoaned the way foreigners who violate the mining laws are treated as compared to their local compatriots here in Ghana.
Citing the case of Aisha Huan, he said government has gained notoriety for treating foreign offenders with ‘kid’s gloves’; a situation he described as ‘the double standard being practiced by the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia-led government”.
He therefore called on government to deal decisively with the matter.
“The Minority therefore wishes to call on government, particularly the Minister for Defence, the Minister for Interior and the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, to as a matter of urgency constitute an impartial credible investigation into this dastardly act, and whoever is found culpable must face the full rigours of the law.
Ghana is governed by the Constitution. We are governed by the rule of law and the Minority will not sit unconcerned for some few people to mishandle and demean the very basic rights of the ordinary Ghanaian”, he emphasised.
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