The Foreign Affairs Ministry has condemned the inhumane treatment meted out to some Ghanaians who were repatriated from the United States of America.
According to Shirley Ayorkor Botwchway, the Ghanaian deportees were chained with their movements on the flight to Ghana restricted.
“What was shocking was that they were brought back in a manner that was unacceptable, it is unacceptable that you put people in chains for an 11 hour flight,” Ayorkor Botchway told Starr FM’s Parliamentary correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan.
She added “if the people are in chains, it will be difficult for them to either eat or even use the wash room so it’s unacceptable and we condemn it if indeed it happened and from the brief we had from the deportees, they were telling us that it happened.”
The claims from the Foreign Affairs Minister sharply contradicts comments by the US Ambassador Robert P. Jackson that the Ghanaian deportees were well treated.
“The 63, who returned recently, arrived in a chartered flight, [they] refused to board a civilian aircraft and return voluntarily. I do not consider the conditions under which they were returned inhumane,” Ambassador Jackson said.
The Ambassador told the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament that the deportees are being sent home for various offences, ranging from drug possession, larceny, assault, theft, sexual assault, identity theft, illegal entry, forgery/fraud, resisting arrest and other non-criminal offences.
He confirmed, “It is true that 7,000 Ghanaians who have overstayed their visas or are staying in the US illegally are in various stages of the deportation processes.”
But Madam Ayorkor Botchway said her ministry will officially write to the US embassy to protest the manner in which the Ghanaian deportees were brought.
“We’ll be raising these matters with the American Embassy. Indeed before it happened, the Deputy Minister at my instance had met with the US Ambassador and he had appealed to him that even if this was to happen, it should be done in a humane manner and the reports we are getting shows that this was not heeded to.”
“Definitely, like I said we are going to send a letter to them expressing our deep concern for what has happened, it only proper that they should be treated well even if they are criminals, their human rights should be respected.”