Chaining of people with mental illness in Ghana is ‘torture’: HRW | Mental Health News


Ghana should take “rapid steps” to finish the shackling and inhumane remedy of individuals with actual or perceived psychological well being circumstances, Human Rights Watch has stated, a follow that continues regardless of laws towards it.

“Chaining folks with psychosocial disabilities in prayer camps and therapeutic centres is a type of torture,” Shantha Rau Barriga, the incapacity rights director at Human Rights Watch, stated in a press release on Thursday.

The worldwide rights physique stated that 10 years after the adoption of a Psychological Well being Act establishing that individuals with psychosocial disabilities shouldn’t be subjected to inhumane remedy, the federal government was not doing sufficient to make sure implementation.

Based mostly on analysis the group has carried out since 2011, it discovered that households typically take folks with psychological well being circumstances to faith-based or conventional healers due to extensively held beliefs that psychosocial disabilities are brought on by curses or evil spirits.

In earlier reviews, the group stated shackled folks typically endure from post-traumatic stress, malnutrition, infections, nerve harm, muscular atrophy and cardiovascular issues.

Between November 28 to 30, HRW researchers visited 5 prayer camps and conventional therapeutic centres within the jap and central areas of Ghana and interviewed greater than 50 folks, the group stated.

In all of the areas visited, folks had been chained or confined in small cages, “in some instances for greater than seven months”.

HRW stated the researchers discovered “greater than 60 folks chained or caged, together with some youngsters”.

Men with chains on their feet
Two males are held by a series round their ankles at a prayer centre in jap Ghana [Shantha Rau Barriga/Human Rights Watch]

At one natural centre in Senya Beraku, 22 males had been discovered carefully detained in a darkish, stifling room, all of them with chains, not than half a metre, round their ankles. “They’re pressured to urinate and defecate in a small bucket handed across the room. Regardless of the sweltering circumstances, they’re solely allowed to wash each two weeks,” HRW stated.

“Please assist us,” one man reportedly instructed the researchers, “now we have a human proper to freedom.”

The group stated it witnessed critical human rights abuses in all areas visited, together with a scarcity of sufficient meals, unsanitary circumstances, lack of hygiene, lack of freedom of motion, and one case of repeated sexual violence.

“In all 5 camps, folks had been held towards their will in what quantities to indefinite detention,” the group additionally stated.

In line with Ghana’s Psychological Well being Act (PDF), folks with psychosocial disabilities “shall not be subjected to torture, cruelty, pressured labour and every other inhuman remedy,” together with shackling. Nonetheless, HRW’s Barriga stated: “Regardless of Ghana’s ban on chaining, the federal government has failed to make sure that folks with psychosocial disabilities not stay below such inhumane circumstances.”

Talking to the AFP information company, Tina Gifty Mensah, Ghana’s deputy minister of well being, stated the federal government was not glad concerning the follow of shackling and detaining folks.

“Clearly, it’s an act the structure of Ghana frowns upon and the federal government and different stakeholders have additionally carried out rather a lot by means of schooling to sensitise folks about it,” Mensah instructed AFP.

“We’ll have a look at the Human Rights Watch report, and the suitable businesses will do what have to be carried out to handle this growth.”

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