Rawlings faults police high-handed handling of Law students’ demo

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has described as high-handed and heavy, the manner of the police handling of the otherwise peaceful demonstration Monday by students of the Ghana School of Law.

The police brutalized the demonstrating students and arrested a number of them when the students insisted on presenting their petition for a review of admission requirements and examinations management of the Law School to President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House.

Several of the students and media workers sustained rubber bullet injuries in the process.

Rawlings in tweets on Tuesday said the police action was uncalled for and that the conduct of the demonstration did not warrant the use of hot water cannons and rubber bullets.

He reminded the police that their actions ought to win the confidence of the people and not the reverse, saying “Monday’s actions rather sow seeds of discontent and encourage negative defiance.”

The government has through the Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah condemned the police management of the demonstration, calling it “embarrassing” and “unacceptable”.

The students had marched from the Ghana School of Law at Makola on their way to the Jubilee House to present their petition when they were stopped at the Ako-Adjei Interchange with water cannons and rubber bullets. Thirteen of them were arrested.

The police had argued that the seat of government remains a security zone and would not allow the demonstrators access.

“The government also believes that the police must always abide by their clarion call which is to protect and serve… We are of the view that the handling of such a situation must always be done in a manner that allows a balanced achievement of the objectives,” said the Information Minister on Citi FM, adding that restraint should have been exercised.

Jerry John Rawlings@officeofJJR

The heavy and high-handed manner the Police handled the demonstration by law students was most uncalled for. The conduct of the demonstration did not warrant the use of hot water cannons and rubber bullets.

Jerry John Rawlings@officeofJJR

Police actions must win the confidence of the people, not the opposite. Monday’s actions rather sow seeds of discontent and encourage negative defiance.

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