April 20, 2024

Activist sues Ghana govt in ECOWAS court over unlawful detention, deportation

Activist sues Ghana govt in ECOWAS court over unlawful detention, deportation

By Dapo Akinrefon

A human rights activist and journalist, Shallie Abbuisi, has filed a writ against the Ghanaian government at the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Court of Justice over what she termed unlawful arrest, detention and deportation by the Ghana Immigration Service.

Abbiusi, who is spokesperson for the New Force Movement in Ghana, said due to her involvement with the group, she was detained in Ghana over claims that her residency status was not genuine.

Abbiusi, in a statement, said she faced repeated court appearances and persistent harassment from the Ghanaian authorities, noting that even when charges against her were dropped, she was re-arrested under unfavourable circumstances.

She said her troubles with the Ghanaian authorities started through summons from immigration authorities to clarify her residency status.

“I was taken aback,” she said, noting that “having never encountered any issues during my years in Ghana. They interrogated me relentlessly about the New Force movement despite my insistence that I was there for my resident permit.”

She added that the situation degenerated as she was “thrust into a nightmarish reality. Overcrowded cells, unsanitary facilities, and intimidation tactics became the norm. I was denied access to legal counsel and coerced into making decisions without proper representation. It became clear that my detention was politically motivated. An orchestrated attempt to silence dissent and stifle advocacy.”

Abbiusi also said because of her insistence on innocence and lack of evidence against her “they revoked my resident permit and labelled me an illegal immigrant. It was a blatant disregard for due process and a clear violation of my rights. I refuse to be silenced and I will hold accountable those responsible for my persecution.

“My fight is not just for myself, but for all those who have been silenced and marginalised. We cannot turn a blind eye to these injustices for silence only perpetuates oppression. I refuse to be silenced. My fight is not just for myself but for all those who have suffered similar injustices.”