Former Gitmo detainees don’t deserve compassion – Catholic bishops
Most Reverend Joseph Osei-Bonsu
The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu has suggested the former Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo Bay prison do not deserve the compassion of Ghanaians.
Rev. Osei Bonsu’s words come in response to President Mahama’s call on Ghanaians to show compassion to the two Yemeni men, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, who were transferred to Ghana last week by the United States government.
The Catholic Bishops Conference have already released a statement calling the government’s decision to accept the former detainees as “wrong” and “dangerous.”
Their statement came after other Christian organisations condemned the move.
Speaking on Citi Eyewitness News, Rev Osei-Bonsu rubbished the President’s call for compassion saying common sense must instead prevail.
“The argument for compassion here does not hold. Certainly the Bible talks about compassion. We need to be compassionate to people and so on but compassion goes with common sense as well.”
Despite indications that the two Yemeni men were detained for 14 years without trial by the United States, Rev Osei-Bonsu insists they are dangerous and should not be treated like refugees.
“These people are not refugees. They are people who have been accused of being terrorists… the fact that Christ came for sinners doesn’t mean we should endanger our lives,” he said.
The Catholic priest further advised Ghanaians to reserve their compassion for individuals and groups who actually deserve it.
“Compassion should be shown to the right people,” he said. “People in real need. People who cannot go back to their country because of war and so on.”
Rev Osei-Bonsu remained adamant throughout his interview, saying the refugees should not be tolerated.
“Compassion goes with common sense and if they are dangerous to the society, they should not be tolerated.”