The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), has expressed disappointment at the Ghana Journalist Association’s absence at a forum organized by the Foundation on police-media Relations and safety of journalists.
The GJA had earlier threatened to boycott the event and called on its members to all do same to address their discomfort to the police service on failure of the police to find officers who assaulted a Multimedia journalist, Latiff Iddrisu in March 2018.
Such declaration by the association refused respective media houses to send their correspondents to the event for coverage.
Speaking to Citi News, the Executive Director of the MFWA, Sulemana Braimah, described the turn of events as unfortunate.He further urged the GJA to be calm, saying the police appears to be making amends.
“I am not speaking for the police, but the point I am making is that there are steps that they are taking. The IGP has set up a committee. They are saying that they are still waiting for the medical report from the victim and so on and so forth.”
He stressed that the relationship between the media and the police must not be marred.
“For me, the most important thing is not to cut off the relationship because as we speak, if we said we won’t come to the headquarters and a journalist is beaten, the next time, we will run back to the same police.”
“So you cannot say that you don’t want to engage with the police. [The police are] the legitimate law enforcement body in our country,” Mr. Braimah
In March 2018, a group of demonstrators believed to be supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) besieged the environs of the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service in Accra to protest against the arrest of the party’s Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho
In discharging their cardinal responsibility to keep the public informed about happenings in the country, journalists from various media houses were on call at the scene.
In the course of covering the demonstration some police officers brutally assaulted Latif Iddrisu, a journalist with the Multimedia Group Limited.
His crime was asking for the name of a police vehicle.
The brutal assault did not only leave Latif traumatized for many days; it also left him battling with life, as he suffered severe bodily harm, including damage on the skull