Nii Okaidja III, Gbese Mantse and acting Adontehene of the Ga State has said there is no tradition which bars uncircumcised persons from entering a palace in the Ga State.
If that were so, he argued, receiving visitors from both home and abroad would be impossible since the traditional authorities would then have to inspect their external male organs.
Nii Okaidja said such a situation would amount to opening the zip of every individual entering the palace to determine whether they are circumcised or not.
He said such a practice would be untenable. The Gbese Mantse described the action of the traditional priests as diabolical and ill-motivated. Nii Okaidja said “the palace has only one restricted area, which is a sacred room where a lot of people, including many in the palace, are not allowed to enter.
“In any case, I learnt that the officials were conducting the exercise in front of the palace but not inside the palace.”
Nii Okaidja therefore questioned the motive of the action since the palace had been put under lock and key by National Security.
Meanwhile, Mr. Emile Short, Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), said the two officials of National Identification Authority who were stripped naked to determine whether they were circumcised could only get recourse to justice if they reported to the Commission. He said in issues to deal with human rights, CHRAJ needed to receive a complaint before it could delve deep into it.
Mr Short said when the victims report the issue, CHRAJ will create the opportunity for the other party to respond to it after which they could then arrive at a verdict.
Asked whether a traditional norm can take precedence over human rights, Mr Short said Article 15 of the 1992 Constitution served as guide under such situation. Article 15 (Clause 1 and 2) of the constitution states: “The dignity of all persons shall be inviolable. No persons shall, whether or not he is arrested, restricted or detained be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Mr Short emphasised that any cultural or traditional practices which subjected any individual practices which subjected any individual to dehumanizing treatment violated the individual’s right.
Source: The Ghanaian Times/Ghana
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