Gja Press
Gja Press

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has hailed Mr David Asante Apeatu, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), for the interdiction and prosecution of the police officer who brutalised the three Ghanaian Times reporters.

“It is worthy to note that the Ghana Police Service, which has been complicit in the attacks against journalists, took some bold, conspicuous and image saving steps to interdict and prosecute one of its own who recently brutalized the three Ghanaian Times reporters in the full glare of the public,” it said.

Mr Affail Monney, the President of the GJA, said this on Thursday at a Forum on Safety of Journalists, organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), in collaboration with the GJA, to mark the World Press Freedom Day.

“IGP, we salute you. However, this action is not enough to extirpate the cancer of impunity. More needs to be done by state security, civil society, media partners, media owners, media consumers and media workers themselves to ensure their safety,” Mr Monney said.

He cited the profound statement made by the global media umbrella body; the International Federation of Journalists, which said: “There can be no press freedom if journalists live in conditions of corruption, poverty and fear.”

Mr Monney said corruption, in sections of the media in Ghana, was real and poverty was high; adding, however, that fear induced by attacks on journalists was what had engaged the GJA’s attention now.

He said the number of media attacks had been very high in recent times, headlined by the assassination, in the most tragic circumstances, of Ahmed Suale of the Tiger Eye PI, and that impunity was largely to blame for all of that.

“Indeed, it would be a wasted effort to talk about the scandalous frequency of such attacks if we, as a nation, fail to deal surgically with the calcifying cancer of impunity”.

“The symptoms of this disease is all around us. Medical doctors teach us that the best way to eliminate the symptoms is to cure the disease.”

Mr Monney expressed regret that partisan allegiance, amplified by shared enmities, weakened the ability of journalists to wage a common war against impunity and the consequent brutalisation of journalists.

“To certain NPP journalists there’s nothing wrong in beating up NDC “journalists. Conversely, many NDC journalists wouldn’t care a hoot when NPP journalists fall victim to attacks,” he said.

“The partisan coloration of violence against journalists does not make any sense. This must stop. Journalists of all political hues and those untainted by partisanship must collectively amplify the drumbeat of protest against attacks regardless of the victims.”

Professor Kwame Karikari, the Board Member of the MFWA, said the threats of death to journalists was a totally new development that required condemnation by government and all democracy loving Ghanaians.

“In this context, we must appeal to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, personally, to find the occasion to address the issues publicly,” he said.

Prof. Karikari said the Government and the political parties must publicly condemn those threats and censure their individual comrades whose utterances and actions tended to support violence against the media and journalists.

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