Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, January 14, 2016
OccupyGhana, a pressure group, has waded into the NDC government’s controversial acceptance of hardcore terrorists released by the United States from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to Ghana.
They also added their voice to the numerous calls on the Mahama-led government to explain the status of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, who were brought to Ghana by the United States government after being detained for more than a decade on terrorism charges.
A statement issued in Accra and signed by Nana Sarpong Agyeman-Badu said OccupyGhana was demanding answers from the government pursuant to Article 21 (f) of the 1992 Constitution.
“OccupyGhana writes in respect of the above-mentioned former detainees of the Guantanamo Bay Prison, whom you have confirmed the Government of Ghana (GoG) has agreed to accept to live in Ghana for a period of two years, after which period they may opt to leave Ghana.”
“We of OccupyGhana are alarmed by the conduct of GoG in respect of Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby respectively and demand that you answer the following issues: What are the real names and any aliases of Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby that are known to GoG?”
They said the government should tell Ghanaians the terrorists ‘professional/vocational/occupational backgrounds’ prior to their detention.
“When did GoG execute an agreement with the government of the United States for the acceptance of Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby?” they queried, adding, “Why did GoG make an announcement to Ghanaians of the acceptance of Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby only after FOX News had broken the news?”
They also want to know if Parliament or any of its committees at any point in time was briefed on the decision to accept the two, adding, “If Parliament or any of its Committees was involved, kindly furnish the name(s) and the date(s).”
“Are Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby among former Guantanamo Bay Prison detainees who have expressed fears at any time of torture or persecution if they returned to Yemen, their home country? Has Yemen confirmed to GoG that Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby risk criminal trial if they return to Yemen?” they further quizzed.
OccupyGhana asked: “Why did GoG agree to accept Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby when the United States as the country that has primary responsibility for the two and other Guantanamo Bay detainees and former detainees is unable to do so because of strong opposition to settle even a single of the former detainees on American soil?”
“Did GoG consider the fact that some former Guantanamo Bay Prison detainees have joined terrorist organisations on their release before agreeing to accept Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby? Did GoG consider the fact that some former Guantanamo Bay Prison detainees have engaged in ‘propaganda warfare’ by speaking out publicly against their detentions and justifying terrorism before accepting Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby?”
The group further wants the government to tell Ghanaians what legal status the government has given to the two, asking, “Do Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby have a right to work whilst in Ghana?”
OccupyGhana further asked if the two have the opportunity for family reunion whilst in Ghana, adding, “Do Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby have the right to access public services, including housing, education, medical care, socialisation and integration programmes whilst in Ghana?”
They also want to know if the two have voting rights whilst in Ghana and whether the government will grant them residence permits.
“Will GoG grant Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby refugee status whilst in Ghana? Is GoG aware that restrictions on the movements of Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby whilst they are in Ghana can only be ordered by a court and not the executive branch of Government?”
“Did GoG consider that by agreeing to accept Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby, Ghana and its citizens worldwide can be viewed by terrorist organisations as collaborators with the United States in its fight against terrorists such that the country and its citizens may be targeted for terrorist attacks? Are there any financial gains to Ghana for its acceptance of Messrs Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby?”