The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has called for swift investigations into the assaults of the Tv3 journalist who was brutalised by a soldier in Accra on Wednesday.
The assault follows a TV3 cameraman, Stanley Nii Blewu, who had gone to Tema Station in Accra Central to do a story on the state of sanitation after the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Madam Cecilia Dapaah had said that the government had achieved 85 per cent of its target of making the capital the cleanest city in Africa.
According to GJA, the soldier asked a police officer to arrest the TV3 crew for taking shots of a clean-up exercise on Wednesday.
The policeman reportedly declined and pointedly told the soldier that the cameraman had not committed any crime for filming the clean-up in a public space.
This infuriated the soldier who then instructed other security personnel and city guards to surround the cameraman for refusing to surrender his phone and camera.
In the words of Stanley Blewu, the soldier “kicked my abdomen and left thigh multiple times, hit my right hand with heavy blows several times until my phone fell off and he grabbed it.”
The cameraman followed the soldier to the AMA headquarters to retrieve his phone and damaged camera, only to see the soldier busily deleting all the shots.
The soldier brazenly assaulted the cameraman the more, with “three strong kicks in the abdomen”. That was at the reception hall of the AMA headquarters.
In a move to save his life, the cameraman, was rushed to the PRO’s office where the soldier again inflicted “heavy blows” on Stanley Blewu’s neck.
He reportedly left the AMA office with a swollen arm and excruciating pains all over his body.
In a statement issued and signed by the President of the GJA, Mr Affail Monney and copied to the Ghanaian Times yesterday condemned the awful incident and called for swift probe into the matter.
“The GJA views the flurry of brutish attacks on the TV3 cameraman as a barbaric infringement on press freedom guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution. The display of naked impunity and unwarranted attacks on journalists, especially in their line of duty, are also a dent on Ghana’s image as a flourishing democracy that highly respects media freedom. The same factors account for the country’s slide down on the World Press Freedom Index,” he added.
BY TIMES REPORTER