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Court Ruling On Rastafarian/Achimota Saga Affirms Ghana’s Respect For Human Rights – Ras Mubarak.

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Court Ruling On Rastafarian/Achimota Saga Affirms Ghana's Respect For Human Rights - Ras Mubarak. 49

 

 

Former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu Hon Ras Mubarak believes the Human Rights High Court ruling on the Rastafarian and Achimota School saga, has put the country on a higher pedestal in issues of human rights.

To him, it “clearly shows that the fundamental human rights of every individual in this country cannot be trampled upon“, and urged others to “use the right medium to challenge the system when they feel their human rights have been short-changed.”

Speaking in an interview with Peace Fm’s William Gentu moments after the court’s decision, the former NDC MP held that “this will also go a long way to affirm the country’s democracy and its respect for human rights.”

In March this year, Achimota School issued admission letters to the two students but indicated that they would only be enrolled on the condition that they shave their dreadlocks per the School’s academic regulations.

Tyron Iras Marhguy and Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea sued the School’s Board of Governors, the Minister of Education, the Ghana Education Service, and the Attorney General to enforce their fundamental Human Rights.

The applicants asked the court to “declare that the failure and or refusal of the 1st Respondent (Achimota School Board of Governors) to admit or enroll the Applicant based on of his Rastafarian religious inclination, beliefs, and culture characterized by his keeping of Rasta, is a violation of his fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed under the 1992 constitution particularly Articles 12(1), 23, 21(1)(b)(c)”.

The two students also wanted “an order directed at [Achimota School] to immediately admit or enroll the applicant to continue with his education unhindered.”

The applicant also sought compensation for the “inconvenience, embarrassment, waste of time, and violation of his fundamental human rights and freedoms”.

Declaring her judgment today, Justice Gifty Agyei Addo of the Human Rights Division of the High Court presided ruled that the fundamental human rights of two students cannot be limited by the rules in question.

Respect The Ruling

The Judge, during the ruling, argued that, on the probabilities of the evidence that were adduced before the court, she doesn’t think the Achimota School and proponents, including GES and the Attorney General’s Department, have made a compelling argument as to why those two students should not be admitted, especially given their rights to education as well as their rights to express their religious freedom.

The Father of one of the boys, Raswad Nkrabea stated that he was elated about the ruling. “I pray the school and Ghana Education Service will respect the ruling of the court and admit my children”.

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