A private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has suggested that inciting people to violence or indulging in unacceptable behaviour needs to be considered a crime against humanity.
“Let’s look at how we would make amendments on incitement to violence as part of free speech, being a crime when you incite someone to violence,” he said on Saturday.
His comment follows a recent threat against Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor by the Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong, as he publicly indicated he would have beaten the journalist mercilessly if he were the President.
Discussing the MP’s comment on Joy News’ Newsfile on Saturday, Mr Kpebu noted that the criminal law amendment is vital because although the threat was not carried out by the person, “he/she is directly inciting violence; against somebody, so we should look at it.”
He recalled that the recent action was not the first from the legislator, citing the 2019 murder of an investigative journalist, Ahmed Suale, by some unidentified persons following similar utterances.
“It looks like we need an amendment to the Criminal Offenses Act because you see that every time these things come up when he incites people to be violent, you are not able to hold him because he doesn’t threaten the person directly,” he said.
Mr Kpebu, however, noted that “the incitement to violence when it’s so alimented that you may lose your client, you could be held so I think that we should be looking at it, we should do some research.”
Citing the United States, where free speech is guarded jealously as an example, the lawyer stated that the freedom of speech does not amount to an abuse of speech.
“Yes, there is free speech [in the country], but free speech doesn’t mean any speech at all, not even in the US where they guard free speech so jealously.”
He, therefore, advocated that the Attorney General and authorities compare the jurisprudence around the world.