GJA condemns rambo style arrest of Captain Smart

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has condemned what it described as “the Rambo-Style” arrest of broadcaster at Onua TV, Godsbrain Smart, mostly referred to as Captain Smart by Operatives of the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB).

According to the Association, since Captain Smart was not a fugitive, the NIB operatives could have used civil means to invite him for questioning.

A statement signed and issued in Accra yesterday by Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, President of GJA, further called on local and international media partners, including the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), and Rapporteur San Frontier (Reporters Without Borders), as well as the diplomatic community in Ghana, to condemn the arrests and actions taken by state institutions to intimidate or gag journalists in the country.

It explained that repugnant actions such as the one exhibited by the NIB must stop as it exposes the country to international ridicule.

It recalled that on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, NIB operatives stopped Captain Smart on his way home from work and whisked him away to an unknown destination.

The statement said although the GJA acknowledges the mandate of the NIB as enshrined in the 1992 constitution, it was appalled by the Rambo style deployed by the NIB to arrest Captain Smart even if he was on the wrong side of the law.

Additionally, it noted that the arrest of Captain Smart sends worrying signals, especially, to international media watchers who still regard Ghana as a reference point of press freedom and democracy in Africa.

“This will continue to affect our world Press Freedom ranking, a ranking which Ghana dipped massively and must, at this time be seen to be working hard to restore its place on the ranking.

We must not, and dare not slide further but rise higher on the league table of free media systems on the continent and the world as a whole,” the statement added.

As a country, particularly state institutions, it said, need to work to protect and safeguard the peace and the rights of Journalists in the country.

The GJA, in the statement, further advised all Journalists to be guided by the code of conduct and ethics of the practice and carry out their constitutional mandate as agents of development without fear or favour.

“We equally admonish Captain Smart to eschew comments that disturb the peace of the country but be encouraged to discharge his duties professionally,” it added.


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