General News of Wednesday, 3 July 2019
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has called for government to establish an independent body to fully investigate the alleged assault of two ModernGhana journalists by the National Security.
Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri; an editor and Emmanuel Britwum a reporter of the online media portal claim to have been subjected to electric shock and other forms of torture by operatives of the National Security after they were arrested for allegedly plotting cyber-attacks on some media houses in the country.
Reacting to the issue, GJA said it would be prudent to set up an independent body to investigate the alleged assault on the journalists. This, the association said will ensure there is transparency and fairness in ascertaining who is stating the truth as National Security has come out to deny the journalists’ claims.
“We are calling for an independent investigation into the case to ascertain the truth. Our simple request to government is this: please work and be seen to be working on restoring confidence that the Ghanaian media environment is safe and a reference point for the rest of the world”, GJA President said.
Addressing the media, President of the Association Roland Affail Monney condemned the attacks adding they are shocked to the marrow that such brutality was carried out by National Security operatives.
According to Affail Monney, the act is shameful and dents the image of the country internationally because it weakens Ghana’s enviable democratic credentials.
“GJA is shocked to the marrow to hear the magnitude of the alleged torture of the two journalists. On the grounds of democratic principles, freedom and independence of the media and the tradition of defending the rights of journalists, the GJA unequivocally condemns the processes and procedures adopted in seeking justice over the cybercrime allegedly committed by the journalists”.
He further stated that “GJA is indeed overly worried and concerned about the attacks of scandalous frequency on journalists. Such attacks corrode our international image and dim the beacon of our democracy”.
Mr. Affail Monney further called on journalists in the country to be ethically responsible and security conscious in order not to fall prey to enemies of press freedom.
Journalists under the Akufo-Addo-led government have on numerous occasions been assaulted by security personnel in the country.
The most recent is the arrest of two ModernGhana journalists for allegedly being involved in cybercrime activities against media organisations.
But according to the journalists, the issue of cyber attack was not raised by the operatives, rather, they were questioned on two articles about National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah and Effutu Member of Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin published on their website.
Emmanuel Ajafor further claimed to have been subjected to electric shock and other forms of torture but National Security has debunked the allegations saying the journalists were never tortured.