The New Force has said the National Intelligence Bureau has unlawfully arrested, detained and violated the human rights of its spokesperson Shalimar Abbiusi
In a press statement, the Force expressed “deep concern” over the recent events surrounding the arrest and detention of Ms. Shalimar Abbiusi, who The New Force said is the spokesperson for its diaspora and diplomatic engagements.
The Force said Ms Abbiusi was “called in for a discussion on Monday, 4th December 2023 and never released thereafter”.
“As we have now found out, for the past 4 days, Ms Abbiusi has been kept continuously in custody by the officers of the National Investigations Bureau, formerly the BNI”, the Force said, adding: “During these 4 days, the security officials have continuously questioned Ms Abbiusi about the New Force; wanting to know which people are behind it and if the people want to run for President”.
Further, the Force said “over this period, she has been denied access to legal representation, subjected to an unlawful search of her premises, and held beyond the legal 48-hour limit without formal charges”.
Also, the Force said “despite the objections of Ms Abbiusi’s lawyers, her apartment was broken into without a warrant and the place ransacked. Yet, not a single element of incriminating evidence was found against her”.
It added: “While the authorities claim to be investigating the origin of The New Force, it is essential to emphasise that having a political organisation is not a criminal offence. As such, the arbitrary detention of Ms. Abbiusi raises serious concerns about the abuse of power, persecution of perceived political opponents and several human rights violations”.
The Force said: “Despite the fact that Ms Abbiussi’s residence permit was facilitated and issued to her over three years ago by the Ghana Immigration Service, the authorities today, told a District Court that they have temporarily charged her with an offence claiming that one of the documents she submitted could not be verified”, adding: “But that they are demanding that she is held in custody so that investigations into the New Force will continue”.
The Force said: “We have witnessed rising attacks against the New Force including the taking down and targeted destruction of several billboards of the New Force. We consider that these actions reflect the approach of cowards and persons who have lost the moral plot of leadership”.
“Ms Abbiusi’s arrest clearly marks an attempt by the government to abuse our laws and its power in order to persecute political opponents. We deplore the attempts to use Ms Abbiusi’s immigration status to blackmail her. We consider that no person should be discriminated against on account of their political opinions or country of origin, as guaranteed by our Constitution”.
“These actions are morally and legally wrong and undermine faith in our democracy as well as the independence and fairness of our political institutions. Is this really the Ghana we want? A Ghana where the abuse of power to intimidate and blackmail perceived political opponents and nationals of our partners? How much lower can we sink as a people? Ghana is losing its pride and its identity. We need a new direction; a new vision; and a New Ghana we can be proud of. We encourage Ghanaians to be vigilant and engaged in preserving the integrity of our democracy. We ask you to demand for a different kind of politics. That is the promise of the New Force. The international community is closely monitoring these developments, emphasising the need for a swift and just resolution”, said the Force.