Imagine being crucified by your own parents in a manner which smacks of evil beyond your wildest imagination all in the name of instilling discipline in you.
What a price to pay for wrongdoing? And how will you feel?
A million dollar questions that would race through any sound mind after a careful look at the ignoble photograph (s) accompanying this publication.
This is a harrowing tale of a young girl whose fate hangs precariously in the balance as her woes deepens without getting justice.
It is hard to believe such a young innocent girl who could not even hurt a fly should be subjected to a barbaric act of high magnitude of torture and pain in this 21st century where respect for human rights is gradually gaining prominence.
I got a distress phone call from a young lady last Sunday afternoon who only introduced herself as Ms. Adepa. It was just after I had successfully wrapped up on a Television program which discussed how to address issues of human rights violations in Ghana which I was privileged to be invited as a guest to share my views and educate the public.
I could hear sadness in her voice from the other side of the telephone as she broke the unfortunate news to me about this young girl whose name is unknown to her.
Her phone line was not too clear at that moment therefore I could hardly hear her out when she spoke. She gave a very brief narration.
All that I’ve managed to pick up from her conversation in a minute was: “Ok, I’ll try and share a photograph of a victim with you so you can follow up with the issue and help seek justice for her.
She concluded with a question: “does your mobile phone support whatsapp application”? I replied yes, and her line dropped.
It dawned on me that another issue of human rights abuse is being reported again as it is always with strange calls I usually receive through my mobile phone on a daily basis.
I later turned my data on and quickly navigated to whatsapp to check up on my received messages, all of sudden to my surprise two photographs of horror flashed in my face.
I became extremely dumbfounded, worried and sorrowful for the plight of a young innocent girl whose hands and legs were tied up together in ropes like an animal to a slaughter house. What a pity, I exclaimed and wondered what could have been her problem looking at her situation after all.
So many questions raced through my mind for a seconds which I could not find an answer to so I was compelled to dig by placing a phone call back to the distress caller where I inundated her with questions to satisfy my curiosity.
The response I received afterwards was not convincing at all. It baffles me to realize that her woes were engineered by her own parents or guardians.
How could her own relatives descend so low to such a tangent of subjecting her to an unwarranted and dehumanizing treatment or punishment all in the name of instilling discipline in her? Oh! maen, I can’t think far.
Children are supposed to be the greatest treasure of their parents/guardians on earth who deserve to be treated with utmost care and attention. But what do we see happening these days in the world?.
Unfortunately, the rights of our children are violated every blessed day while the perpetrators are left unpunished as a result of failure on part of the sanctioning authorities to act and bring them to book.
It is obvious, the canker of child labour, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, child trafficking, sale of a child, child prostitution, child pornography and abduction to mention a few are crimes that are on rise being perpetrated against children by adults who are supposed to protect them.
In the case of this unfortunate kid, what actually was her crime to be treated in such a barbaric, atrocious and dehumanizing manner? Is this child not a human being like any other child who deserves to be treated with dignity? Where lies her basic rights and freedoms as a child? What kind of parents does she have? Hmmm.
Surprisingly, in one of the photos which I’ve received from this benefactress, two men could be seen, one sitting down on a wooden bench while the other squatting deeply engrossed in conversation with each other, looking unconcerned while the child suffers in pain as the ropes she was tied with tightens up firmer.
What an abomination? Indeed, this is unacceptable and very bad of parents who are supposed to be caretakers of their children and not villains who maltreat their children in the name of wrongdoing.
Madam Adepa in a chat with me revealed she was really touched by the plight of the child the moment her eyes caught hold of her lying down in such a sorrowful and degrading state which triggered shock and horror in her sight.
She revealed witnessing this horrendous incident at a vicinity in Sokoban, a town in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana while on her way to visit a friend who lived nearby.
Her immediate reaction was to take some shots of her then quickly turn to google search for a contact of a human rights activist who could intervene to help save the life of the little child from her tormentors after her efforts to rescue her proved abortive.
Adepa further disclosed she received the threat of her life from a woman who appears to be either the mother or caretaker of the victim at the scene when she attempted to rescue the child.
“The woman almost slapped me. I never thought people could be so heartless treating human beings like animals in this 21st century”, she laments.
She pointed out to an elderly man who appeared in one of the images sitting on a bench (in white shirt and cap) as the father of the victim, while referring to the man squatting next to him as a ‘rescuer’ who was trying to negotiate for the release of the youngster who was reeling under the abhorrent and excruciating pain of torture at the time but to no avail.
Ultimately, Adepa wondered if subjecting a child to torture, or to cruel or inhuman treatment or punishment is the best form of discipline parents could instil in their children who committed an act of wrongdoing which indicated to me goes contrary to the law.
The gravity of this beastly act cannot be overemphasized as the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights unequivocally stated in its Article 5 that, ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the Children’s Act 560 1998 and the Child’s Act 1989 which protect children from violence and exploitation strongly equally abhorred barbaric treatment of children as well.
The parents of this young girl who subjected her to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment must be dealt with according to law and we at the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) will push for this to happen.
This would serve as a deterrent to other parents, guardians and caretakers who violate the rights of their children to quit.
This is a typical example of gross child rights abuse where the victim’s right to life and liberty is flagrantly violated by her parents. An act which ought to be condemned by all and sundry in no uncertain terms; anyhow, anywhere and anytime.
Indeed, another war for the Ghanaian vibrant human rights advocacy group with a global reach wholly committed to ensuring that human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled to fight.
These and many more we take care of on a daily basis at the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) to ensure wrongdoing is punished and justice is served to the victims of human rights violations to ensure rights are respected and peace prevails.
Our only prayer is that the authorities would move swiftly into action and ensure the perpetrators are apprehended and dealt with according to law so that justice is served this innocent child who deserves nothing but a life of dignity in the absence of torture or any dehumanizing treatment.