General News of Saturday, 16 March 2019
Print media house, Ghanaian Times says it will file charges against police officials who assaulted three of its reporters earlier this week.
In a Citi News interview, Editor for Ghanaian Times, David Agbenu said his outfit will soon make available a report on the attack to the Information Ministry, which is expected to be forwarded to the Interior Ministry for appropriate actions to be taken.
“We have made initial contacts with the Ministry of Information because that is our Sector Minister and we are going to provide him with a full report and ask that the matter be reported officially to the Minister of Interior who has jurisdiction over the Police so appropriate action is taken.”
“The Police say that they are charging Malik for assault. We are contesting it and we are going to file charges against the Police for attacking our reporters and also for causing damage to our vehicle.”
Meanwhile, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) says if authorities fail to sanction the said Policemen within a reasonable time, they may resort to picketing at the Police Headquarters.
“I have told the Police that we are taking them by their words and are waiting to see the concrete action that they are going to take against these erring officers. I think that it is only fair for us to give them some reasonable time to conclude their investigations and take whatever measures that they are going to take against the culprits.”
“If after what we believe to be reasonable time has elapsed and we do not hear anything, we are going to announce a further line of action and we do not exclude the possibility of mobilizing the media and picketing at the Police headquarters,” Programmes Manager at MFWA, Muheeb Saeed said.
One of the reporters, Raissa Sambo was said to be on admission at the Ridge Hospital after she was reportedly assaulted by a police officer with the motor transport department around the Kinbu Lorry Park in Accra on Thursday.
The other reporters, Malik Suleman and Salifu Abdul Rahman are said to be assisting police to investigate the matter.
The police officer reportedly rammed his unregistered motorbike into the car in which the journalists were.
Upon inquest by the journalists, the police officer took offence and reportedly attacked them when one of the reporters tried to film what was going on.
‘Assault on journalists becoming common in Ghana’
Assault on journalists in Ghana is becoming a common phenomenon with police officers being among the perpetrators.
In the last two years, there have been more than 15 of such reported cases.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has also said it has recorded about 62 of such incidents against journalists in the last four years.
“Despite the several reported incidents of violations against journalists, punishment of perpetrators has been very rare, if any at all. This culture of impunity for crimes against journalists only emboldens perpetrators and encourages others to abuse journalists at the least opportunity. Many reported crimes go investigated or end with the mere pronouncement by the police to the effect that investigations have commenced,” the MFWA has said in one of its reports.
The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) has also condemned the assault and called on the police to fish out the officer who perpetrated the act and punish him accordingly.