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Safe Prison: the case of alleged Witches in Northern Ghana


Every year, more than 100 women in Northern Ghana alone suffer witchcraft accusations. They are publicly humiliated, beaten, butchered, driven away by a mob like thieves, and sometimes killed for claims which have been borne out of greed, jealousy, ignorance, and a deeply rooted cultural practice that is inimical to the rights of women.

Those who are able to escape lynching seek refuge in what has been called “witches camps”. But cases of more human rights abuses in these camps have ignited strong arguments for their closure without consideration to the fact that these are the only places where the victims feel safe.

With the Gushiegu district alone having three of the six witches camps in Ghana, namely Gushiegu, Kpatinga and Naboli witches camps, GBC’s Doreen Ampofo visited the area to assess the challenge in ending these accusations and human right abuses. For women at the alleged witches camps, they want government to shelve the idea of closing the camps because the fact that they may have been denied their families and may suffer some human rights abuses, the camp is the only place they feel safe.

Rather, they want government to focus on putting in place measures and sanctions to stop these baseless witchcraft accusations. Their reason is that until the accusations are stopped, the camps cannot stop admitting women who feel unsafe in their communities.

By: Doreen Ampofo.

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