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Graphic journalists in solidarity with Ghanaian Times over assault of journalists

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Mr Dave Agbenu (4th left), Editor, Ghanaian Times, narrating the repoters' encounter with the police to the Graphic Team (right)
Mr Dave Agbenu (4th left), Editor, Ghanaian Times, narrating the repoters' encounter with the police to the Graphic Team (right)

Journalists of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) have declared their unwavering support for the New Times Corporation (NTC) as the latter seeks justice for three of its journalists who suffered police brutality on March 14, this year.

The Graphic journalists said they were ready to support any lawful action that would be taken to ensure that justice was served pertaining to the victims of the police brutality.

A high-powered delegation from the Newspapers Department of the GCGL made the pledge when it visited the NTC to commiserate with the victims of the attack.

Visit

The 10-member delegation from the GCGL, drawn from all the newspaper brands of the company, was led by the acting Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Kingsley Inkoom.

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The delegation included the Features Editor, Ms Doreen Hammond, the Foreign Page Editor, Ms Kate Baaba Hudson, the Head of Design, Mrs Esther Somuah, and the Photo Editor, Mr Douglas Anane Frimpong.

The rest were Ms Caroline Boateng, the local Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) chairman for the GCGL, Mr Enoch Darfah Frimpong, Assistant Online Editor, Mrs Hadizah Nuhu Billa Quansah, a staff writer at The Mirror, Ms Efia Akese, a reporter at The Mirror, and Mr Timothy Ngnenbe, a reporter at the Daily Graphic.

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The Managing Director of the New Times Corporation, Mr Martin Adu-Owusu, the Editor of the Ghanaian Times, Mr Dave Agbenu, the Head of Marketing, Mr Alfred Koomson, and other line managers of the company received the delegation from the GCGL.

Two of the victims of the police brutality – Malik Sulemana and Salifu Abdul Rahman, were part of the meeting.

Mrs Raissa Sambou, the other victim, was said to have gone for medical attention at the time of the visit.

Stance

On behalf of the delegation, Mr Inkoom said, “We are here to let you know that we are with you and that we will continue to be with you through this fight. We will stoke the fire from time to time to ensure that justice is served to these journalists,” he stressed.

He encouraged the management of the NTC to cooperate with the police and other agencies to ensure that no stone was left unturned in getting to the root of the matter.

No retreat

For his part, Mr Adu-Owusu lauded the Graphic journalists for throwing their weight behind the NTC in fighting for the victims of the police brutality and said the management of the company was committed to following the case to its logical conclusion.

“We have discussed the way forward with our lawyers.

We also wrote to the Minister of Information and received a response from him that he is engaging with the Minister of the Interior to take action on the issue so we are waiting to see the action,” he said.

Mr Agbenu, for his part, described the visit by the delegation as unprecedented and said the show of solidarity had encouraged them to push more for justice to be delivered to the journalists.

He revealed that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante Apeatu, had assured the company that justice would be served to the journalists.

He, however, expressed worry that women groups had remained quiet over the issue, especially when Mrs Sambou, a nursing mother, was involved.

Background

The three journalists who were on their way to cover assignments on March 14, this year, were assaulted by about 10 police officers at Kinbu in Accra Central.

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

The 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.

Mrs Sambou, who recently gave birth, 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.