The New Force reacts to arrest of spokesperson, Shalimar Abbiusi


The New Force reacts to arrest of spokesperson, Shalimar Abbiusi

The New Force, a political movement on social media driven by the ‘The Man in a Mask’ campaign, has reacted to the arrest of its spokesperson, Shalimar Abbiusi, a Belgium National.

In a statement shared on social media, the movement described the arrest of Shalimar Abbiusi, who it said is its diaspora and diplomatic engagements spokesperson, as unlawful and a human rights violation.

The New Force said that the arrest and other actions taken against it were an attempt by the government to abuse its powers in order to scare its political opponent.

It added that she has been in the custody of national security operatives for four days, who have been questioning her about the operation of the movement and the people behind it.

“Ms. Abbiusi, who is the spokesperson for the New Force's diaspora and diplomatic engagements, was called in for a discussion on Monday, 4th December 2023 and never released thereafter as we have now found out, for the past 4 days. Ms Abbiusi has been kept continuously in custody by the officers of the National Investigations Bureau, formerly the BNI. During these 4 days, the security officials have continuously questioned Ms Abbiusi about the New Force; wanting to know which people are behind it and if the people want to run for President.

“…Ms Abbiusi's arrest clearly marks an attempt by the Government to abuse our laws and its power in order to persecute political opponents. We deplore the attempts to use Ms Abbiusi's immigration status to blackmail her. We consider that no person should be discriminated against on account of their political opinions or country of origin, as guaranteed by our Constitution. These actions are morally and legally wrong and undermine faith in our democracy as well as the independence and fairness of our political institutions,” part of the statement read.

The movement also accused the security officials of denying the Belgian national access to proper legal representation and also breaking into her apartment with the court orders.

“Further, over this period, she has been denied access to legal representation. subjected to an unlawful search of her premises, and held beyond the legal 48-hour limit without formal charges. Further, despite the objections of Ms Abbiusi's lawyers, her apartment was broken into without a warrant and the place ransacked. Yet not a single element of incriminating evidence was found against her.”

About the arrest

The Ghana Immigration Service apprehended a 30-year-old Belgian woman, Shalimar Abbiusi, who gained attention through her involvement in a viral short video introducing a new political group known as "The New Force."

Abbiusi was taken into custody during an inquiry into her immigration status in the country.

The Immigration Service took notice of Abbiusi's activities on social media, particularly her role as the spokesperson for "The New Force."

The arrest occurred following an invitation by the Head of the National Enforcement Section at the Immigration Headquarters to address concerns related to her immigration status.

Investigations revealed that Abbiusi initially arrived in Ghana on September 4, 2017, through the Kotoka International Airport and had been a frequent visitor until 2018 when she claimed residency as a student at the Ghana Christian University College.

However, checks from the college exposed that Abbiusi had never been a student, and the documents purportedly issued by the institution to support her application for a residence permit were forged.

The accused now faces charges related to immigration offenses and has been arraigned before the court for remand into Immigration custody.

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GNBCC | News