The Ghana Journalist Association has sent strong words to the administration of the Criminal and Investigative Department of the Ghana Police Service to as a matter of urgency treat the case of the Multimedia journalist who was assaulted by some personnel with a sense of urgency.
Ken Ashigbey, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications addressing the press on Friday said, it will be compelled to petition the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia who is the Chairman of the Ghana Police Council and President Akufo-Addo if the police remain adamant with regards to how it handles the case.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Ing. Ken Ashigbey questioned the high rate at which journalist are being brutalized across the country.
“Former President Obama once said, the only professional that gets beaten for doing their job is the journalist and that is not right, since we haven’t seen engineers being beaten for constructing poor roads or Doctors for having their patients die in their hospitals or even the politicians in this country for all the bad things we face as a nation,” he quizzed.
According to him, the only way to stop the indiscriminate assaults on journalists is to ‘attack’ the culprits and use one as an escape goat.
He said, the very nature of the journalistic work is to challenge the status quo, which the constitution mandates journalists to do but if the general public and institutions will continue to brutalize journalists in the line of their duty, then with time the few courageous journalists will lose the bravery to carry out their duties.
He said, “I know Ghana is been rated as a free country but if you look at the way we have treated our journalist. Yes even though we’ve not had any of us died but the things we’ve gone through is close to death.”
Stressing on the need for the police to treat the issue with urgency, Mr. Ken Ashigbey lauded the GJA for picking up the matter and pressuring the police administration to conclude investigations and expose the culprits for punishment.
He added that it was about time the National Media Commission stands on its feet and act on its mandate by speaking to such issues and seeking justice for victims of assaults.
“We need the NMC to show some more strength because that’s press freedom and if we are beating everybody then where will the press be free again, GJA has responded ,we need the NMC to do same,” he said
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 to his skull.