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General News of Friday, 26 April 2013


GJA rejects military's investigation into journalist's assault

Some Executives of the Ghana Journalists Association are fuming over findings of an investigation into alleged assault of two journalists by some military personnel.

Director of Public Affairs for the Military Col Mbawine Atintande told the AM show on Multi TV his men were exonerated from the allegations of assault.

The soldiers allegedly slapped a photographer from the Ghanaian Times newspaper and shocked the private parts of another journalist with a taser.

The incident which happened during the independent anniversary celebration angered many journalists, with some vowing to blacklists the military.

They were however assured that an investigation will be conducted into the assault allegations and the necessary punitive actions taken.

But the report of an investigation into the incident has angered them all the more. Col Mbawine Atintande said his men did not slap the journalists.

However, a video clip on the incident showed the military man raising his hands on the cheek of one of the journalists.

Atintande said having a hand on another person’s cheek is not an evidence of a slap, adding his men did not slap the journalist.

Dave Agbenu who is the Editor of the Ghanaian Times newspaper told Joy News’ Evans Mensah today is “saddest day” of his career as a journalist.

He said by now the military should know how journalists operate and vice-versa. He said it will be difficult for anybody to suggest to him that a journalist who has been assigned to cover an assignment as important as the independence anniversary will go and misconduct himself.

He said video footage showed clearly that the journalists were assaulted by the military men and wondered why the military hierarchy will exonerate its men from these allegations of assault.

Meanwhile the Minister of Information and Media Relations says the investigation by the military into the alleged assault of journalists by some soldiers during the independent anniversary celebrations is inconclusive.

Mahama Ayariga has therefore advised media owners whose employees were victims of that assault to conduct and bring their own independent investigation on the circumstances surrounding the assault.

He says it is only when he receives investigative reports from the two sides involved in the matter that he will be able to take firm decision on the next line of action.

Mahama Ayariga told Joy News the GJA can also conduct their own investigation and present a report which he will then forward to the National Media Commission for redress.