The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has expressed utter shock and disgust at the recent brutalities meted out to journalists of TV Africa at the demolished site at Adjei Kojo, near Tema.
A statement signed by the GJA President, Mr Affail Monney, said the journalists had gone to the site to perform their professional duties when they were allegedly pounced upon by suspected operatives of National Security and the police and subjected to harrowing treatment.
Crew under attack
The statement said the TV crew, including a young lady, were stripped of their shoes, socks and watches and molested.
“For two hours, the journalists endured physical and mental torture as they were detained. Their camera was seized and after an intervention by the News Editor of TV Africa, A.C. Ohene, the camera was released. The incriminatory portion of the film was, however, deleted before the camera was handed over to the crew,” it said.
It said the GJA was of the strongest conviction that the deletion of that portion of the film did not and should not erase evidence nor diminish the gravity of the offence.
The statement said the GJA and, indeed, all lovers of media freedom and the rule of law were tired and sick of the scandalous frequency of attacks on journalists in their line of duty.
It said the GJA called on the Inspector General of Police and the National Security Co-ordinator to immediately institute a full-scale investigation into the incident and punish the perpetrators.
The statement said the victims also deserved an unqualified apology and adequate compensation.
“The GJA notes with appreciation recent image polishing and public-friendly strategies by the security apparatus, particularly the police. The association is deeply worried that a few members of the law enforcement agencies continue to show affinity to deviate from the path of legality, civility and dignity, thereby tarnishing the image of their entire institutions and the nation as a whole,” it said.
The statement urged the leadership of the security institutions to deal firmly and squarely with the deviants in their midst to save the image and name of such institutions.
It wondered when the demolished site at Adjei Kojo became a security zone.
“The latest brutalities against the TV Africa crew reinforces the need to remind the offending law enforcers to always operate within the confines of the law or be prepared to taste the biting edge of the law. Ghana has indeed come a long way in its democratic march, as well as respect for media freedom and rule of law. The whole nation must, therefore, descend heavily on the few elements whose acts of brutality and inhumanity threaten to set the clock of progress back,” the statement added.
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