The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has condemned the alleged police brutalities on the broadcast journalist, Latif Iddrisu of Accra-based Joy News.
Iddrisu had gone to the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters on Tuesday to cover events that unfolded following the arrest of the Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho.
An alleged misunderstanding between him a police officer led to his assault by a group of police officers.
According Iddrisu, he asked one policeman the technical name for the crowd control vehicle, to aid his reporting but the police officer reportedly got angrily and pounced on him.
Below is the statement of the GJA
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) condemns in no uncertain terms alleged police brutalities on award-winning broadcast journalist, Latif Iddrisu of Accra-based Joy News, at the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Accra last Tuesday. The reporter was there to cover protestations against the arrest of Koku Anyidoho, Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), by sympathisers of the major opposition political party in the country.
In response to a question by the reporter about the name of the police riot control van, a police officer allegedly assaulted him and incited his colleagues to brutalise the reporter on the premises of the CID Headquarters. Latif Iddrisu was subsequently hospitalized, having suffered severe bodily pain.
We call on the Inspector-General of Police to, as a matter of urgency and priority, institute full-scale investigations into the alleged police brutalities on the reporter and bring to book any police officer found to have taken part in the act. We further entreat the IGP to call his men and women to order so that they would refrain from such acts of brutality against media practitioners in the future.
The police and the media have enjoyed cordial relations over the years, and it is our hope that the Police Administration would take steps to ensure that this incident does not mar such relations. We urge the police to always consider the media as partners in development, especially in the maintenance of national security, and not enemies or subjects of brutality.
The GJA expresses utmost sympathy to Latif Iddrisu and his colleague cameraman who was also assaulted, and wishes them speedy recovery to return to their job of promoting national development and serving the interest of the people. We encourage him and, indeed, all journalists not to be deterred by such attacks on their person and remain confident and committed to their professional calling.
The GJA wishes to take this opportunity to advise journalists and other media practitioners to take extreme precautions in covering sensitive issues so that they do not put their lives in danger. As much as possible, journalists must avoid risking their lives in conflict situations, especially when the police do not offer them protection. Inasmuch as there is an imperative need to tell the story, there is an equally important reason to, first of all, live to tell the story.
Affail Monney, President of GJA