Police assault on Ghanaian Times reporters ‘barbaric’ - GJA

BY: graphic.com.gh
Mr Affail Monney, GJA President
Mr Affail Monney, GJA President

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has condemned the assault of three Ghanaian Times reporters by some police officers in Accra on Thursday, describing it as "barbaric."

The assault followed a traffic offence and an accident involving a police officers who was using an unregistered motorcycle and the official Ghanaian Times vehicle, which was transporting the journalists to their various assignment venues.

The GJA in a statement signed and issued by its President, Mr Roland Affail Monney expressed shock that police officers who committed the dastardly act, turned themselves into "lawbreakers rather than the law enforcers." 

GJA has therefore called for swift investigations into the incident, adding that the perpetrators of the crime must be punished.

The about 10 police officers who were not happy that the journalists had tried to record (video) the accident and the ensuing exchanges between their driver and the police motor rider, pounced on the journalists and physically assaulted them.

Mr Malik Sullemana, a court reporter, Mrs Raissa Sambou, a general reporter and Mr Salifu Abdul Rahman, an assistant editor, felt the full effect of the brute force used by the police officers, leading to two of them being sent to hospital to receive medical attention.

Mrs Sambou, a nursing mother who recently gave birth through surgery (caesarean) was rushed to the emergency unit of the Ridge Hospital, while Sullemana, who received a chunk of the assault was locked up at the Ministries Police Station, but was later released.

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According to the GJA, a police officer riding on an unregistered motorbike hit a vehicle belonging to the Ghanaian Times near Kinbu Traffic Light in Accra around 8.45am and sped off.

“The Police Officer had allegedly jumped traffic and while meandering his way out, his motorbike hit the bumper of a Nissan saloon car belonging to the Ghanaian Times, breaking the mirror and windscreen of the car in the process. His pillion rider who saw what had happened beckoned him to stop but the police officer rode on” the statement explains.

“The driver of the Ghanaian Times vehicle then chased and managed to block the motorbike of the police officer a few meters away from the accident scene, whereupon Malik got off the vehicle and started video-recording the incident with his mobile phone. Angered by that action, the police officer attempted to snatch the mobile phone from the reporter and when he did not succeed, he allegedly punched the face of the reporter, as blood gushed out from his nostril. Other police officers and a soldier in uniform allegedly joined in the beating of the reporter, pushing, kicking, slapping and punching him,” the statement added.

Mrs Raissa Sambou Ebu and Salifu Abdul Rahaman the report noted were heckled and in the process, Raissa, a nursing mother, collapsed and was rushed to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital for treatment.

The police officers, according to the GJA demanded the mobile phone of Malik and subsequently handcuffed and bundled him into a police vehicle.

“They then sent him to the Ministries Police Station and detained him for about four hours. The police were said to have ignored several pleas from the reporter to send him to hospital for medical treatment,” the statement said.

The association added that the police ignored several pleas by the reporter to send him to the hospital for medical treatment.