Ghanaians protest government’s attempt to suppress free speech

Thousands of protesters thronged the streets of Accra on Tuesday to protest what they describe as an attempt by the government to suppress free speech in the country.

The demonstrators—led by media advocay group— Free Media Vanguard (FMV) say the “selective shut down” of two key pro-opposition radio stations, Radio XYZ and Radio Gold, by the National Communications Authority (NCA) had political underpinnings.

This follows concerns raised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and other civil society organisations over the shutdown, describing it as “harsh.”

Protest organiser Prince Minkah told BBC Pidgin: “It appears media freedom in this country is gradually being undermined by political leadership. Our protest is to send a clear message that this new trend must stop.”

Officials at the NCA have rubbished such claims, insisting that the closure was applied to broadcasters because they had failed to renew their expired radio licenses, in accordance with ruling made by the Electronic Communications Tribunal last year, the BBC reports.

Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George condemned the NCA’s act and called it illegal.

“Per the laws the NCA works with, they should have notified the radio stations for a period of 30 days before the closure,” he added.

Some protesters vowed to support the FMV to pile pressure on the government to act.


Ghana News Online

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