Arrest NDC supporters for assault on Citi FM/TV journalist - GJA to Police
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has called on the Ghana Police Service to immediately arrest and prosecute supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who assaulted a reporter of Citi FM/TV, Akosua Otchere, while covering the vetting of the party’s aspirants for the Odododiodio Constituency parliamentary candidacy last Friday.
The GJA condemned the attack on Ms Otchere in the line of duty and called on state and non-state actors, as well as the international community to condemn same, a statement issued by the association said.
“What happened at the offices of the Greater Accra Regional Branch of the NDC on Friday was an act of insanity that must not be allowed to fester in our body politic, and so we urge the Police to act swiftly to arrest and prosecute the thugs in order to help sanitise the political space, especially in respect of assault on media practitioners by political actors.
“For the records, we wish to emphasise that the Citi FM/TV News Team were at the NDC Regional Office to perform a public-interest duty and they were properly and professionally clothed in respect of identity.
In the circumstances, we expected the party leadership or the party as an institution to protect the news team from harm, and the thugs to refrain from making them objects of attack in their internal party skirmishes,” it said.
Meanwhile, a statement issued and signed by the NDC National Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, last Saturday to condemn the act said “the party takes full responsibility for this unfortunate incident and assures the general public that we shall take immediate steps to fish out the perpetrators.”
It assured the public that all those found culpable shall be dealt with in accordance with the disciplinary rules of the party and the laws of Ghana.
However, the GJA in its statement said it had taken ‘editorial notice’ of press statements issued by the NDC’s regional and national leadership condemning the attack on the journalist, apologising for the ‘highly irresponsible’ act and giving assurance to deal with the party’s thugs who indulged in that dastardly act.
“While waiting for action beyond the rhetoric by the regional and national leadership of the party, the GJA wishes to serve notice, with deep ink, to political parties and the general public that henceforth, any assault on journalists and the media shall be repelled with the strongest weapon we can marshal.
The GJA has put its legal team on standby as we prepare to meet the Inspector-General of Police on Monday to discuss pertinent matters, including the recent attacks on the Citi FM/TV journalist and UTV.
“The GJA will go every length under the law to deal with political actors and individuals who may attack journalists as we gear up for the 2024 electioneering.
We call on political parties in particular and other stakeholders to educate their members to refrain from attacking journalists and learn to channel their grievances, if any, through the appropriate avenues as dictated by the rule of law and practised in civilised states.
“Once again, we encourage journalists and media practitioners never to be intimidated by such attacks; rather, we must defy them and always stay faithful to the public interest,” it said.