Home » Belgian Activist Deported After Questioning Ghana’s Political System

Belgian Activist Deported After Questioning Ghana’s Political System

Shalimar Abbuisi, the spokesperson of the New Force movement, claims she was detained and deported for no reason

by Victor Adetimilehin

The Ghanaian authorities detained and deported Shalimar Abbuisi, a Belgian activist and spokesperson of the New Force movement, without any reason. Abbuisi accuses the Ghana Immigration Service of violating her human rights.

The New Force Movement

The New Force movement is a political group that emerged in Ghana in late 2023, ahead of the 2024 general elections. The movement claims to be a grassroots initiative that seeks to challenge the status quo and offer an alternative to the two dominant parties in the country, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The movement has been using social media and online platforms to mobilize support and spread its message of change. One of its most notable campaigns is the “man in the mask” video, where a masked figure criticizes the current political system and calls for a revolution. The man’s identity in the mask remains unknown, but Abbuisi has been acting as the movement’s spokesperson and appearing in various media interviews.

The Arrest and Deportation

The Ghana Immigration Service invited Abbuisi to their headquarters for questioning a few days after the “man in the mask” video went viral. She willingly went but the nature of the questions and the documents they asked her to produce surprised her.

“They started questioning me about my residence permit, which I’ve been traveling with back and forth for years. It was recently extended by another immigration officer. It was obtained through an official immigration officer, and I never had any problems with it. So they started to question me about the permit. They asked me about certain documents that I had never seen before, and they asked me questions about the new force. So, I was baffled about why I was there,” she says.

She spent the night at the immigration cell, where she witnessed appalling conditions and human rights violations. She said that there were more than 15 people from different nationalities, men and women, sharing the same cell, some of them for months without a hearing, a lawyer, or a phone call.

The Ghana Immigration Service transferred her to the National Investigation Bureau (NIB) the next morning, where they informed her that she was under arrest without any official charges. She spent six days at the immigration cell and one day at the NIB cell before a court released her on bail.

However, the Ghana Immigration Service rearrested and deported her without any explanation or due process shortly after her release.

The Reaction and the Implications

Abbuisi claimed that the New Force movement’s involvement and her questioning of the political system in Ghana made her a target. She said she has not received any support or assistance from the Belgian embassy or the international community.

She also said that she is concerned about the implications of her deportation on the freedom of expression and the democratic space in Ghana, especially as the country prepares for the 2024 elections.

“I think it’s very dangerous for the future of Ghana and the future of democracy in Africa,” she says.

She hoped that her case would raise awareness and spark a dialogue about the need for political reforms and accountability in Ghana. She also said she remained committed to the cause of the New Force movement and hopes to return to Ghana someday.

“I love Ghana and the people, I just want to see Ghana prosper and thrive and be the best version of itself. And I think that can only happen if there is a true democracy if there is a true representation of the people and if there is true accountability of the leaders. And that’s what the New Force is fighting for,” she says.

Source: Ghana Web 

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