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Banjul, 18 March 2024: The Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (the ECOWAS Court) has urged Ghana to investigate and prosecute soldiers accused of brutalizing four children and the mother of one of the children.

The pronouncement was made 15 March 2024 as the ECOWAS Court handed down its judgment in suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/63/21 Stella Kubagee & 4 Ors v. Ghana.

The case filed in November 2021 by Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) on behalf of the Plaintiffs concerns the torture and inhumane treatment of the Plaintiffs by some members of Ghana Armed Forces following an accusation of theft of a laptop belonging to a senior military officer by the minors in June 2018. Though the matter was reported to the police and the Ghana Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the perpetrators remain unpunished.

In its verdict, the ECOWAS Court ordered Ghana to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the violation, to fully implement the recommendations of the Ghana CHRAJ and to put in place several structural measures to curb all forms of torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment in Ghana.

“We hope that, with this decision, Ghana would not only take steps to ensure the perpetrators are punished, but also put in place measures to prevent the recurrence of such violations”, IHRDA Senior Legal Officer, Désiré Bigirimana, said, following the proclamation of the judgment.