Ghana losing status as free press country – MFWA


The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) says Ghana’s image as a country that promotes freedom of the press is being stampeded by violence against journalists.

MFWA Director General, Sulemana Briamah, regretted in 2014 alone there have been several violations against media practitioners.

Mr Briamah’s assessment was in reaction to an assault on a journalist of government-owned newspaper, Daily Graphic in Kumasi last week Friday.

The Ashanti Regional correspondent of Daily Graphic, Daniel Kenu, was assaulted by some macho men led by Baffour Gyan, the elder brother of Asamoah Gyan, Captain of the Black Stars.

Baffour Gyan was said to have been the first to assault the reporter, followed by the macho men who were with him.

Mr Kenu had gone to the Baba Yara Stadium to pick his accreditation for the Ghana-Uganda clash on Saturday when the incident happened.

Also on Saturday September 7, the Mayor of Accra caused the arrest of Multi TV reporters who had gone to Mensah Guinea, a slum in Accra to report on how inhabitants were faring after city authorities pulled down their make-shift structures.

 “Sometime in March [this year] we issued a statement actually drawing attention to the incidence of violations by security forces in this country.

“There was an incident in Takoradi where a journalist had his camera seized by a Naval Officer. There was a similar incident in Tamale when a journalist with the Ghanaian Times was brutalised by a Military Officer.

“Prior to that there had been another incident involving a police and so at the time we were concerned that increasingly our security forces were not being friendly to the media. We drew attention to that as something that needed redress.

“Apart from that, not too long ago, there was this development which was perpetuated by a state actor in Tamale when Radio Justice was attacked”, MFWA Director General recounted.

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the National Mission Commission (NMC) have both condemned the assault on the journalists.

He said the phenomenon was fast becoming like days of military regimes in the country.

“I don’t think this [assault] is good for this country”, Mr Sulemana said.

Meanwhile Police have prosecuted Baffour Gyan. He was granted bail of GH¢30,000.

The court adjourned the case to Friday September 12 after he pleaded not guilty to charges of assault.

  Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Nyavor | george[email protected]

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