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Graphic condemns Oguaa Traditional Council for 'unlawful detention' of reporter

BY: Graphic Online

The management of Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) has condemned the "unlawful detention" last Friday of one of its correspondents in Cape Coast, Mr Timothy Gobah after he filed a report on the confusion that erupted at the launch of the Oguaa Fetu Afahye on Friday, April 26, 2019.

According to the reporter, after he filed the story for Graphic Online [www.graphic.com.gh] the digital platform of the GCGL, he was dragged from his office ostensibly on the orders of the Oguaa Traditional Council and sent to the Emintsimadze Palace where his cell phone was collected from him and detained for about two hours until a Police Crime Officer went there to effect his release.

In a statement signed and issued by Mrs Mavis Kitcher, the Director of News on Monday, April 29, 2019, the GCGL said it was taking "a very serious view of the illegal detention of the reporter as the action of the Traditional Council was unlawful and impinges on the freedom of the press."

"The 1992 Constitution guarantees the freedom of the press and journalists have the right to undertake their duties without any fears whatsoever.

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"We strongly condemn the action by the Traditional Council and demand an apology is rendered to Mr Gobah and the GCGL for the intimidation.

"The GCGL will not look on for any of its journalists to be assaulted by any persons or group of people while they perform their legitimate duties," the statement added.

Below is a full copy of the press statement 


April 29, 2019


TO ALL MEDIA HOUSES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE UNLAWFUL ‘ARREST’ AND DETENTION OF A GRAPHIC COMMUNICATIONS GROUP LTD CORRESPONDENT IN CAPE COAST

The attention of the management of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL), has been drawn to the unlawful detention of one of its correspondents in Cape Coast, Central Region, Mr Timothy Gobah after he filed a report on the confusion that erupted at the launch of the Oguaa Fetu Afahye on Friday April 26, 2019.

According to the reporter, after he filed the story for Graphic Online, the digital platform of the GCGL, he was dragged from his office ostensibly on the orders of the Oguaa Traditional Council and sent to the Emintsimadze Palace where his cell phone was collected from him and detained for about two hours until a Police Crime Officer went there to effect his release.

The GCGL takes a very serious view of the illegal detention of the reporter as the action of the Traditional Council was unlawful and impinges on the freedom of the press.

The 1992 Constitution guarantees the freedom of the press and journalists have the right to undertake their duties without any fears whatsoever.

We strongly condemn the action by the Traditional Council and demand an apology is rendered to Mr Gobah and the GCGL for the intimidation.

The GCGL will not look on for any of its journalists to be assaulted by any persons or group of people while they perform their legitimate duties.

We live in a nation which is governed by the rule of law so if a journalist or indeed, any person breaks the law, he or she has to be reported to the Police as no group has the right to arrogate to itself the power of ‘arresting’ and detaining any person deemed to have infringed on their rights.

The continuous brutality against journalists must cease and as the leading media organization in the country, the GCGL would spearhead the campaign to fight this canker and ensure that the perpetrators are pursued, apprehended and made to face the full rigours of the law to serve as a deterrent to others who take journalists for granted and take the law into their own hands.

This is crucial to rid the society, particularly the inky fraternity of any sense of apprehension in the pursuit of their legitimate duties to ensure a safe reporting environment.

Ghana’s history to press freedom is valuable and requires all citizens to urgently defend it and stop the cycle of fear and intimidation.

It is unfortunate that very close to May 3, 2019 when the world would be celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom and evaluate freedom of the press around the world as it defends the media from attacks, such an act of vigilantism should happen.

Yours faithfully,

Mavis Kitcher (Mrs)
Director, News