The Human Rights Court in Accra has today ordered officials at Achimota Senior High School to admit one of the Rastafarian students, Tyron Iras Marhguy.

The student, who was denied admission together with one other Rastafarian student sued the school because he was denied admission at the Achimota School because of his dreadlocks in order to affirm his fundamental human right.

The court in granting the application held that the refusal of Achimota School to admit Master Marhguy on grounds that he was wearing dreadlocks amounted to a breach of his fundamental human rights and his right to education.

According to the Affidavit in support of the application which has now been determined, Tereo Kwame Marhguy, the biological father and next friend of the applicant, the respondents in the case are the board of governors Achimota Senior High School (1st Respondent) and the Attorney General (2nd Respondent).

Affidavit in support

The Father of the applicant said his son “duly complied with the school selection and examination registration processes. The Applicant at all material times was a Rastafarian by religion and that Rastafarianism is a religious movement, begun in Jamaica in the 1930s and adopted by many groups around the globe, that combines protestant Christianity, mysticism and a pan-African political consciousness”.

“A key tenet of Rastafarianism is the wearing of dreadlocks, which is drawn from the Nazarite vow in the Old Testament of the Bible. In particular, at Numbers 6:5, where it is said “All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no rasor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.”

The affidavit further states that” the Applicant has therefore worn his hair in dreadlocks throughout his studies at the Junior High School, where he excelled academically, was a model student, and was made Senior Prefect. The dreadlocks have caused no problems for him, his mates, his teachers or the schools”.

The 58-paragraph affidavit further notes that “the Applicant’s colleagues who were admitted into the School by virtue the CSSPS placement have commenced classes whiles he is discriminatorily denied same right to education in the School and he is currently at home simply because of his expression of his religious faith, without injury to any other person. The Applicant has always been of good behaviour in his former schools and would continue to do so. And that in a recent media reportage carried out by Citi TV about the Applicant in his former school, his former teachers and school mates attested to his positive behavior and expressed their shock about the discrimination being meted against him”.