We'll Ensure Rights Of Journalists Are Protected To Prevent Attacks – GJA
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) says the lack of stringent punishment for perpetrators of crimes against journalists, only emboldens others to engage in similar crimes.
This concern of the association comes on the occasion of the International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists.
The latest World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, saw Ghana losing its spot as one of the best-ranked countries for press freedom.
The county dropped from 23 in 2018 to 27 in 2019.
The drop was attributed mainly to the murder of investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale earlier in 2019.
President of GJA, Affail Monney in an interview on the fate of journalists in the country, mentioned that punishing those who attack journalists is very important and must be pursued aggressively.
He also assured that the rights of journalists will be protected.
The government says it is implementing a Coordinating Mechanism on the Safety of Journalists, media practitioners in the country as well as other stakeholders by equipping them to prevent abuse.
A significant number of the recent assaults on journalists have happened at political events.
In October 2018, a Joy FM reporter was assaulted by a member of John Mahama’s security detail whilst covering Mr. Mahama’s campaign to be NDC flagbearer.
Three journalists, including Citi FM’s Marie-Franz Fordjoe, and two others from TV3 and Ghanaweb, were also assaulted by security guards at the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) headquarters when they were covering a demonstration by some angry party members on December 21, 2017.
In this instance, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) was compelled to petition the National Chairman of the NPP to help bring to book party activists who attacked the journalists.