Govt asked to assure journalists of safe working environment

 THE Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has asked the government to reassure journalists and Ghanaians of a safe atmosphere to practice and also to help restore confidence in the Ghanaian media.

 “Our simple  request to the government  is this : please work and be seen to be working  on restoring confidence  that the Ghanaian media environment  is safe and  a reference point for the rest of the world,”  the GJA  said.

 The president of the GJA Mr Roland Affail Monney said this yesterday in Accra when he addressed the media on the arrest of two Modern Ghana journalists by the National Security Operatives last week.

 The two journalists, Emmanuel Ajafor Abugri and Emmanuel Britwum were last week picked up at their office at East Legon and their computers, laptops and mobile phones seized in the course of the operation.

Mr Abugri said he was slapped and beaten up by the security operatives for giving unimpressive answers during interrogation by National Security operatives.

 Speaking at the conference, Mr Monney said the association was shocked to the marrow to hear the magnitude of the alleged torture of the two journalists.

“On the grounds of democratic principles, freedom and independence of the media and the tradition of defending the rights of journalists, the GJA unequivocally condemns the process and procedures adopted in seeking justice over the cybercrime allegedly committed by the journalists,” he stated.

 He said the association had a constitutional, legal, ethical, moral and godly responsibility to defend all journalists in their line of duty, adding that, “We shall never flinch from doing so under any circumstance.

 “The GJA is indeed overly worried and concerned about the attacks of scandalous frequency on journalists. Such attacks are corrodes to our international image and dims the beacon of our democracy,” he added.

 Mr Monney also admonished journalists to be ethically responsible and security conscious in order not to fall prey to the enemies of press freedom.

A member of the GJA legal board and counsel of the two journalists, Samson Lardy Anyenini, explained that the national security operatives picked the journalists up because a publication was against the National Security Minister Albert Kan-Dapaah.

  He said the editor of the online portal was called the previous day before the arrest to pull down the story which was obeyed before the arrest on Thursday.

 On the issue of hacking into the emails of Peace FM, Mr Anyenini said Mr Britwum once worked with the station and had access to the password of the portal

“He was not denied access to the email after he left the station and joined Modern Ghana two months ago and the editor of the Peace FM Radio Station has confirmed giving the password to him,” he stated.

 He, therefore, questioned the reason for accusing his clients for hacking and asked: “What is hacking?” and also questioned why the issue of the cybercrime has not been referred to the Cybercrime Unit of the Ghana Police Service.

“We are certain a charge has not been found against them and they cannot find one because there is none,” he said.


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