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Punishment For Not Wearing Nose Mask Cruel

Wearing Nose MaskPunishment For Not Wearing Nose Mask Cruel – The Ghana Bar Association has described the punishment for the refusal to wear a face mask in public as harsh.
The GBA is therefore calling on the government to take a second look at the punishment in order not to congest the country’s prisons.

A new Executive Instrument (E.I. 164) signed by President Akufo-Addo on June 15, 2020, as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID -19) has made it an offence for refusing to wear a face mask in public.

The punishment is a prison sentence of four to 10 years or a fine of GH¢12,000 to GH¢60,000 or both.
The E.I. was issued by the President pursuant to the powers granted him under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012).

Per E.I. 164, which was gazetted on Monday, June 15, the mandatory wearing of face masks shall be in force for three months and shall apply to all parts of Ghana.

But in a statement, the GBA said the punishments imposed by the provisions of Section 6 of Act 1012 and Paragraph 4(2) of EI 164 are severe and further that may culminate in the imposition of custodial sentences.

The GBA proposed a fine of not less than ten penalty units and not more than one hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than one month and not more than two years would be ideal to deter people from violating the restrictions imposed by virtue of the law.

“Much as punishments ought to be meted out to persons who flout and contravene laws, the GBA is concerned with and finds the punishment imposed in respect of persons who breach Act 1012 and EI 164, harsh. It is our view that the punishments imposed by the provisions of Section 6 of Act 1012 and Paragraph 4(2) of EI 164 are severe and further that may culminate in the imposition of custodial sentences.

“The GBA is apprehensive that the prisons which are presently congested, may shortly be teeming with convicts who are unable to pay fines imposed by Courts under Section 6 and Paragraph 4(2) aforementioned.

“The GBA would therefore suggest, in the circumstances, an amendment of the said Section 6 to impose punishments that are less severe. The Bar would propose a fine of not less than ten penalty units and not more than one hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than one month and not more than two years.

It is our firm belief that our proposals are sufficiently punitive and will deter people from violating the restrictions imposed by virtue of the law.”

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