Category Archives: Ghana

GhanaWeb: Treatment in Ghana’s prisons humanly degrading – UN

November 14, 2013 – UN expert, Juan Mendez, called for Ghana to do more to protect prisoners and the mentally ill, according to GhanaWeb. After a week-long visit, Mr. Mendez talked in a press conference about the conditions he found in the prayer camps of Nyakumasai and Edumfa, and what he described as inhumane treatment of psychiatric patients. Mr.  Mendez admitted that he found the psychiatric hospitals to be underfunded and under-equipped though the staff is self-motivated. His report on this visit will be released in February. Read the article here.

Global Post: Ghana’s prisons “inhuman, cruel”: UN representative

November 14, 2013 – On an official visit to Ghana, UN Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez described prison conditions in the country as tantamount to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” According to government figures, Ghana’s prisons were hugely overcrowded, but Mendez believes the number may be higher. Mr. Mendez will release a full report on his findings after a six-day visit to the country in February of next year. Read the full article here.

UN Human Rights Expert to Examine Torture Situation in Ghana

November 7 – Ghana Business Insider reports on the Special Rapporteur’s announced trip to Ghana, during which the Special Rapporteur will visit psychiatric centres, prayer camps, detention places, police stations, interrogation centres, prisons, juvenile and women’s facilities in the Greater Accra, Central and Ashanti regions. The Special Rapporteur will present his report on the visit to the UN Human Rights Council 2014. During his visit, the Special Rapporteur intends “to engage in a constructive manner with key decision makers and leaders in civil society to help the authorities uphold the rule of law, promote accountability regarding allegations of torture and ill-treatment, fulfill the right of reparations for victims, and to ensure that alleged perpetrators are held responsible in conformity with international law.”


UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to Inspect Prisons, Psychiatric Centres and Prayer Camps in Ghana

November 7 – The Center for Global Mental Health highlight that as part of his visit to Ghana, the Special Rapporteur will be making it a priority to visit psychiatric centres and prayer camps to examine the treatment and living conditions of those with mental disabilities.  The Special Rapporteur addressed the question of torture and ill-treatment in health care settings a February 2013 thematic report that was presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.  In 2012, Human Rights Watch published a report documenting human rights abuses against persons with mental disabilities in psychiatric centers and prayer camps in Ghana

First Visit to Ghana by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture from 7-14 November 2013

November 5, 2013 – The Special Rapporteur is set to undertake his first visit to Ghana this week, from 7 to 14 November. In his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa, the Special Rapporteur will assess the situation on the ground and identify challenges concerning the use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in Ghana. He will visit places of detention including prisons, police stations, psychiatric centers, prayer camps, and women and juveniles’ facilities, to assess conditions of detention and monitor the status of detainees. During the visit, the independent expert will also meet with domestic authorities, civil society partners, international organizations, and victims and their families to address various aspects of his mandate, including domestic legislation on torture and ill-treatment, and the potential establishment of a national preventive mechanism.  The Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary comments and recommendations at a press conference to be held on Thursday 14 November 2013, at 15:00, at the World Bank Office in Accra, and will present a final report to the Human Rights Council in March 2014. Please read the full UN press release on the Special Rapporteur’s visit here.


Involuntary Treatment: An Invisible Health Care Crisis in Ghana

March 5, 2013 – In his 2013 thematic report on torture in healthcare settings, the Special Rapporteur cited abuses committed against persons with psychosocial disabilities in Ghana, noting that such practices could amount to ill-treatment or torture in violation of international legal norms. Human Rights Watch subsequently highlighted the Special Rapporteur’s conclusions and drew attention to its 2012 report on the ill-treatment of persons with mental disabilities in Ghana, which reveals the prevalence of severe abuses such as neglect, mental and physical abuse including sexual violence, and prolonged seclusion and restraint of persons with disabilities in Ghana.