Assault On Journalists: Report Was Not For Public Domain – GAF

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) says it did not intend to put in the public domain the report of their investigations regarding the alleged assault of two journalists by their men.

GAF was tasked to conduct investigations into the alleged assault of two photo journalists: Vincent Dzatse of the Ghanaian Times newspaper and Nii Martey Botwe of the Daily Graphic by their men during the independence celebrations.

After the investigations, GAF sent a report to the Ghanaian Times as well as the Ghana Journalist Association indicating that their men did nothing wrong and that they (soldiers) only used ‘minimum force’ to ensure that the laws are adhered to. This was published in Thursday, April 25th edition of the Ghanaian Times.

However, in an interview with Samuel Agyeman on Metro TV, Public Affairs Director at the Ghana Armed Forces Col. Mbawine Atintande said the report was for only the Ghanaian Times and the GJA.

He said the two entities were supposed to read through the report and give them (GAF) their opinion.

“We didn’t intent to make this public. It was a personal letter that we wrote to Ghanaian times and gave a copy to GJA and so I was expecting that they will come back to us to react and then we can discuss. But unfortunately they put out in the public domain…whatever the reason is, I think there was the need for us to discuss it before making it public. If they come up with concrete issues, we can discuss it. There is no need of dragging this issue; I wish they would have written to us and told us their dislikes and then we move on from there” he indicated.

According to him, there was absolutely no highhandedness in respect to what the soldiers did; ‘they had a job to do to prevent people from doing certain things’.

“We are not interested in condoning wrong doing and we don’t want to say that soldiers can take the laws into their own hands… We have not seen any wrong doing on the part of the soldiers; if you look at the footage, we think there was no slap…” he pointed out.