June 13, 2024
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CHRAJ pushes for quick resolution of stalled anti-witchcraft bill

The Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Advocate Joseph Whittal, is urging the government to expedite the passage of the anti-witchcraft bill.

He explains that this urgency is due to the hardships faced by women labelled as witches, who cannot endure the associated assault and stigma.

He spoke at the commemoration of International Human Rights Day 2023 organized by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice under the theme, “The 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Implications for Human Rights Protection in Ghana,” held on December 11, 2023.

“Our concern now is what the president has indicated that he has constitutional concerns, but he has no problem with the content of the bill. Our problem as a Commission is, can the president speed up, whatever he will do to bring that bill to Parliament whether it is through the Attorney General, or however he intends to. The women cannot afford any further delay.”

Parliament has already passed the Criminal Offences Amendment Bill 2023, also known as the anti-witchcraft bill, which seeks to criminalize attacks on alleged witches.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, on November 27, 2023, criticized the President for failing to communicate his stance on the bill to Parliament after he was expected to review and give his assent.

In a letter addressed to Parliament on Monday, December 4, President Akufo-Addo conveyed to the House that he cannot give his assent to the three bills until the constitutional issues tied to them are resolved.

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