Political imprisonment and detention without trial continue to be used to silence critics and opponents of the government in Ghana almost 10 years after it took power in December 1981. On 17 June 1991 the Secretary (minister) for the Interior, denied that there were any political prisoners in Ghana. A few days earlier he had said that the military authorities were detaining some members of the armed forces "for infringing the military code and for subversion".
The only military personnel imprisoned since 1983 had testified as witnesses in political trials, he said, and no decision had yet been reached whether to try or release them. However, despite recent steps to restore constitutional rule and move towards multi-party democracy, the Ghanaian government has continued to hold political prisoners, including both prisoners of conscience and others apparently suspected of conspiring to overthrow the government.
Most have not been charged or tried or otherwise allowed to contest the accusations against them. In 1983 Amnesty International representatives visited Ghana on two occasions to undertake research and meet government officials. After being refused permission to visit Ghana in 1989, Amnesty International representatives visited the country in April 1991, this time at the invitation of the government, to talk to government officials and to collect information.
Although the Ghanaian authorities gave general assurances that forthcoming constitutional changes and moves towards a multi-party political system would soon "resolve" the problems of detention without trial and the use of the death penalty, they divulged little detailed information about either of these issues.
There were several detentions of prisoners of conscience in Ghana of concern to Amnesty International. Some of those detained have been charged by the police and accusations made against them in the government-owned press, but none has been prosecuted, apparently for lack of evidence.
A typical case is the honorable former minister of energy and potential presidential candidate for the new patriotic party Mr. Boakye Agyarko. A soldier with the Ghana Armed forces named Lance Corporal Halidu Gyiwah, on the 19th of June 1983 initiated a coup d'etat against the military junta of Rawlings Led Pndc.
The attempted coup proved unsuccessful and Halidu, the ring leader had to flee to neighboring Ivory Coast with other accomplices. Although the coup d'etat failed, its enabled hundreds of organized political prisoners detained at the usher fort and the Nsawam Prison to escape.
The aftermath of the coup resulted in a manhunt of all individuals perceived by the state to be collaborators and enemies of the state. One main target was Boakye Agyarko, an industrious business man who castigated much of the government economic policies.
He was apprehended on the suspicion that he had a hand in the coup. He was captured to the Air force base and tortured, shot with the intent to kill him and finally dumped at the 37 military hospital mortuary. Miracles do happen and so it did, when a nurse who was on duty discovered that he wasn't dead.
She contacted her Superiors and an immediate surgery was performed. Boakye Agyarko survived the assassination and fled the country to seek asylum in the united state of America. His hardworking attitude and furtherance of his education enabled him to work with the Bank of new York and subsequently earned the spot of the vice president of the Bank of New York.
Fast forward to February 2017, back home the president of the republic appointed him as the energy minister and relieved him of his position in August 2018. This is the resilient story of Boakye Agyarko the survivor of the bullet.
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