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General News of Thursday, 4 July 2019


Second Modern Ghana journalist denies being tortured by National Security

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One of the two ModernGhana journalists who alleged that they had been tortured by national security officers, Emmanuel Britwum, has made a sudden U-turn.

He now claims he was never manhandled and tortured by operatives of National Security.

Mr. Britwum, through his lawyer, Deborah Asabere-Ameyaw said he disassociates himself from the claims of torture against him and could not confirm that his colleague, Ajafor Abugri was brutalized either.

In a strongly worded statement, he said, he has not elected anyone to speak on his behalf on the ensuing matter.

“It is the case of my client that some attempt have been made in the media to draw in into the raging debate over an alleged unlawful arrest and torture-laden interrogation of Mr. Ajafor by the National Security,” the statement said.

The two journalists, who are being investigated for their alleged roles in cybercrime were picked up by the security officers at the Modern Ghana online news portal on Thursday and taken to an undisclosed location.

While Mr. Britwum was released the following day, Emmanuel Ajarfor, editor for the website, was released on Saturday.

Following their release, Mr. Ajarfor alleged that they were manhandled and brutalized while in custody during interrogations.

In a Citi News interview, he said he was slapped and subjected to beating and provided reports of supposed medical checkups he went for after his release but the claims were denied by the National Security Council Secretariat.

The secretariat in a statement said Mr. Ajarfor, “was never manhandled, neither was he subjected to any form of forced physical contact.”

But the claims of the two journalists have received public support with the Ghana Journalists Association calling for an independent probe of the torture allegations made against the National Security.

Many have since supported the idea of a thorough probe into the matter since this is not the first time allegations of abuse have been leveled against the country’s security agency.

Meanwhile, Lawyer Mr. Ajarfor, Samson Lardi Ayenini, has said he is surprised at the turn of events. He suggested to Citi News that Emmanuel Britwum is not being forthright with his narration as he had earlier explicitly confirmed that he was tortured.

"I interrogated the two of them, spent sufficient time and I asked Britwum almost about five times if he was assaulted. His answer was yes. He said he was slapped. He told me and my other senior colleague. We were there to represent them and took time to take them through a process for them to understand that we will not represent people unless we are sure that their stories are believable. W asked the question, over and again which Britwum insisted that he was assaulted and said same to his manager and two other people,” he said.

He added that he could not say what may have influenced Mr. Britwum’s sudden turn from his earlier confession.

Plans are underway to initiate a civil suit against the National Security agency.

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