It is emerging that the ordeal suffered by some residents of Ashaiman on Tuesday did not end when they were taken into military custody.
On Thursday afternoon, JoyNews sources picked up information that some of the over 150 persons screened by the military and later released were subjected to further beatings while in custody.
The Military High Command has described the operation as one geared toward apprehending persons who killed a 21-year-old soldier, Sherrif Imoro.
JoyNews’ Maxwell Agbagba caught up with one of the victims.
“We were taken back to Burma Camp and at Burma Camp, it wasn’t an easy task. We went through a lot,” a victim said.
According to him, when they were arrested, they were initially taken to Michel Camp after which they were transported to Burma Camp on the Commander’s orders for investigation.
“We were not beaten at Michel Camp, we were just there waiting but after that, we were taken to Burma Camp at 4:00pm. When we got to Burma Camp that was when some soldiers were around and they were beating us.”
He stated that while the beating was going on, the soldiers informed them that they were being trained to be soldiers.
“We were beaten all over our bodies from head to toe. They used rods, wires, sticks, brooms, anything they can see was used,” he recounted.
He went on to say that the rationale the soldiers explained for the beating was that they failed to officer assistance to the dying soldier when he cried for help.
“The reason they gave was that when the military man was crying for help, we the community members were even not ready to assist. They are the ones defending us so why can’t we also defend their neighbour?”
In a related development, Beatrice Kpotsu, the wife of one of those arrested, claims she has not seen her husband in three days.
According to Beatrice, her husband was arrested when he stepped out to use the public toilet in the neighbourhood.
She said her husband is the breadwinner of the family and his absence is having a toll on the family.
This is because they haven’t eaten since her husband’s absence, and their child is ill, and she is unable to take the child to the hospital for treatment.
She pleaded with the military officials to release the husband because he is innocent.
Meanwhile, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has condemned last Tuesday’s military exercise at Taifa, a suburb of Ashaiman in the Greater Accra region.
Joseph Whittal, the Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice told JoyNews’ Blessed Sogah that the exercise does not pass the test for an intelligence-led operation while adding that the military acted wrongly.