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Amnesty Says Violence Against Women Is Pervasive   
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Perpetration of violence of varied degrees against women and girls in Ghana remain widespread, a concern Amnesty International (AI) raised on Wednesday in its 2014/15 human rights report.

Violence that strikes women from all kinds of backgrounds and of all ages includes domestic and intimate partner violence, emotional abuse, same-sex relationship violence, sexual assault and abuse, stalking and violence against women with disabilities.

A total of 16,275 cases of the violence were reported to the Domestic Violenceand Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Servicein 2013, Amnesty said.

Although Ghana has a law that prohibits domestic violence, victims are not provided with adequate protection and legal assistance to lodge complaints with the Unit, the report said.

Amnesty also raised the issue of Ghana passing death sentences and AI says an ongoing constitutional review process could lead to abolition of the law.

“Courts continue to hand down death sentences, no executions have taken place since 1993,” Mr Lawrence Amesu, Executive Director of AI, Ghana told the press.

In March the Constitutional Review Implementation Committee submitted a draft bill to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to amend provisions of the 1992 Constitution; these included a proposal to abolish the death penalty.

The bill was expected to be referred back to Parliament for approval before a referendum is conducted.

Mr Amesu also raised concern over perpetual mob action meted out to unarmed civilians which he described as “gradual but disturbing social evil creeping back into Ghanaian society.”

“We have been receiving reports of some people taking the law into their own hands to mete out instant justice on innocent individuals...unfortunately some soldiers who are expected to protect Ghanaians are also involved  in taking such instance justice,” he said.

Mr Amesu appealed to the government to continue to make human rights central to its political programme.

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than seven million people in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end abuses of human rights.

The 2014/15 report documents the state of human rights in 160 countries and territories during 2014.

Some key events from 2013 were also reported. The report also celebrated those who stood up for human rights across the world, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances.
Source: GNA

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