Ghana’s Parliament has approved amendments to the Criminal Offences Act of 1960, which previously made attempted suicide a criminal offence. As per the recent changes, individuals who attempt to take their own life will now be regarded as needing mental health support rather than facing imprisonment under the law.
The Upper East Regional Director of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Lawyer Jaladeen Abdulai, has described the amendment of sections of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 that make attempting to take one’s own life a crime as a relief to many Ghanaians.
Lawyer Jaladeen told A1 Radio’s Mark Smith on the Daybreak Upper East show that a decision to commit suicide is a condition that requires more treatment from professionals than prison, which is why he is excited by the latest revision to the law.
“For me, even though this thing has been in place since 1960 up to date, I think that this amendment has brought a very big relief to those of us who think that attempting to take your own life is a condition that needs more attention than imprisonment. Because as I speak now, I am just asking myself, What will prompt me to say I want to take my life? So at a point where I decided to take my own life and you have criminalised it, it means you are telling me that, look, whatever you are going to do, make sure that if you fail to die, we will punish you. So it means that we would be encouraging people to die, not even attempting to die.”
Lawyer Jalaldeen, however, warned that individuals that assist others to commit or attempt suicide are liable before the law.
“Anybody who instigates somebody, or plays any role for somebody to commit suicide, that person would have been committing a crime that is a first degree felony. This is a serious offence. Any role that you play to have someone’s life taken, you have committed a serious offence,” he said.
He warned that individuals who are known to egg on other who may post suicidal or suggestive post on social media are could be charged with a the commission of a crime.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana