Accra, July 26, GNA – Human Rights Advocates across the country have joined millions of mourners, both International and local, to send messages of condolences to the family of late President John Evans Atta Mills following his demise last Tuesday, July 24, 2012.
Ms Taniele Gofers, Communications Officer of Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) noted that on the international stage and here at home, President Mills cared about the protection of human rights.
“The President was a champion of human rights issues and was passionate about curbing human rights violations, which is evident in the achievements during his time as President.
“Under the leadership of President Mills, Ghana made many great strides in the protection of the human rights of all citizens of Ghana,” Ms Gofers said in a statement to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday.
She noted: “As President Obama remarked after hearing of his death, President Mills was a "strong advocate for human rights and for the fair treatment of all Ghanaians.
“It has never been more appropriate, then, to reflect on recent strides that Ghana has taken towards recognising the human rights of all of its citizens, and to ensure those human rights are protected and promoted”.
There is no doubt that there were human rights violations during the Mills government, but the President did aim to create increased transparency in order to redress and reduce human rights abuses.
For example, the Right to Information Bill which aims to increase accountability of government through access to information, moved from the legislature to the executive for the first time, under the leadership of President Mills.
Another development under the Mills Government was the acceptance of the Constitutional Review Committee’s recommendation to abolish the death penalty.
“The sanctity of life is a value so much engrained in the Ghanaian social psyche that it cannot be gambled away with judicial uncertainties”, Ms Gofers said.
“The HRAC, led by Executive Director Nana Oye Lithur, wishes to express its deep regrets over the passing of President Mills,” Ms Gofers added.