We never tortured ModernGhana editor; it’s all a lie – National Security

The Office of National Security has denied torturing the Deputy Editor of MordernGhana, Mr Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri.

Mr Abugri, who was arrested together with Mr Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum, a reporter, on Monday, 1 July 2019 said that he was tortured and beaten by National Security operatives while in detention following a raid of their office.

Even though the National Security said they arrested the two in relation to cybercrime and hacking allegations, Mr Abugri said the questions posed to him while in detention had no link to those claims.

Mr Abugri noted that he was rather questioned on a critical article his outfit published about the National Security Minister, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, and the governing New Patriotic Party’s MP for Effutu Constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin in relation to happenings at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).

Narrating his ordeal, Mr Abugri said: “They [National Security operatives] questioned me for about an hour and then the beating started because they said I have to confess. I was tortured; every question came with a slap. When they ask anything and before I could say anything then the slaps”.

“When I give an answer and they are not satisfied then they give me a slap. They used the electrical shocker to shock my body”, he narrated, adding: “From there, they made me go through the military style where I have to lean against the wall with legs up and head down as if I’m doing a press up then they gave me a huge slap at my back then I fell and one guy used his elbow on my backbone”.

He continued: “I could not breathe for a while, so, I had to open my mouth and gasp in the air so I could survive and I cried like a newborn baby telling them I was innocent”, he told Accra-based Joy FM.

However, the Office of National Security has denied his claims of torture.

In a statement, the office said: “The Secretariat takes a very serious view of these claims, and wishes to state, in no uncertain terms that these allegations are false. We consider it to be a clear and deliberate attempt by the suspect to discredit the investigations and the case against him. Torture and manhandling of suspects are not part and parcel of the culture and architecture of the secretariat under the administration of President Akufo-Addo”.

“We wish to categorically state that the suspect during questioning, was never manhandled, neither was he subjected to any form of forced physical contact.

“The Secretariat is pleased to note that upon the suspect being handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service, the Police has requested that a medical investigation on the suspect be undertaken immediately.

“We are confident that the results of the medical examination will present the truth in the matter so as to inform the appropriate steps to be taken”, the statement added.

In the meantime, the statement said, “the suspect will be arraigned on Tuesday, 2 July 2019 and the charges preferred against him will be made known”, adding that: “The Secretariat reassures the general public that it will at all times continue to respect the rule of law in all of its operations”.