IGP Dampare Cautions Religious Organizations and Leaders
The Inspector General Of Ghana Police Service, Dr. George Dampare sends a strong warning to religious organizations and their leaders.
The IGP in a statement cautioned religious leaders against publication of prophecies about public figures. The release states that as the year 2021 is getting to an end, the police seeks to draw the attention of Ghanaians to the right to worship and respect for the law.
“As the year 2021 draws to close, the Ghana Police Service wishes to draw the attention of Ghanaians, especially religious groups, to the fact that whereas we have the right to religion, freedom of worship and free speech, all of these rights are subject to the respect for the rights and freedoms of others according our laws.”
The service informs that, over the years, communication of prophecies by some religious leaders have created tension and panic.
“Over the years, communication of prophecies of harm, danger and death, by some religious leaders, have created tension and panic in the Ghanaians society and put the lives of many people in fear and danger.”
The service wants to caution, that under Ghanaian law, it is a crime to publish or make statement, which will cause fear to the public.
“We want to caution that under Ghanaian law, it is a crime for a person to publish or reproduce a statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace, where that person has no evidence to prove that the statement, rumour or report is true.”
It also states, that it is a crime to electronically send information, which is false and misleading.
“It is also a crime for a person, by means of electronic communications service, to knowingly send a communication that is false and misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life saving service or to endanger the safety of any person.”
The service further educates, that a person found guilty under these laws could be liable to a term of imprisonment up to five years.
The Ghana Police Service cautions that religious leaders and Ghanaians should be measured in their utterances especially prophecies.
“We therefore wish to caution all Ghanaians, especially religious groups and leaders to be measured in their utterances, especially how they communicate prophecies, which may injure the right of others and the public interest.”
“The Ghana Police Service wishes to place on a record that the police are not against prophecies; we acknowledge that we Ghanaians are religious people who know, and believe in the centrality of God in our lives.” It adds.
The police promise to ensure maximum security during end of year church services across the country.
“The Police wish to assure all religious organization that we are committed to ensuring maximum security during the 31st December night, end of year services and beyond.’ There should be no apprehensions therefore about undertaking the various activities.” “We ask only that everyone keeps within the law and be mindful of the welfare of each other.”
The Police urge all Ghanaians to observe all COVID-19 protocols religiously so as to protect lives from this ravaging pandemic.
The concluded by wishing all Ghanaians Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.