Human Rights Watch Indicts Ghana over Attacks on Journalists

Global Human Rights watchdog, the Human Rights Watch, in its latest report has indicted the Ghanaian government for suppression of human rights, including harassment and violence against journalists, unlawful killing of innocent people and Police brutalities.

The report which was released in Washington DC on Tuesday states about targeting of Journalists in Ghana: “In June there were reports that a member of parliament criticized and incited violence against a prominent journalist whose investigative crew produced a film about corruption in Ghana soccer, including involvement by government officials.”

The report was citing the ruling New Patriotic Party’s Kennedy Agyapong who issued threats at Ahmed Hussein-Suale and Anas Aremyaw Anas for exposing high-level corruption ring between government officials and officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA). The threats and release of the identities of the investigative journalists, led to the brutal assassination of Ahmed Suale.

“The Media Foundation for West Africa counted 17 cases of attacks on journalists from January 2017 to March 2018. Earlier in the year, police assaulted a reporter who had visited the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters to report on the arrest of a political party official. The reporter sustained fractures to his skull. Officials reported an investigative report was submitted to administrators in May and provided no further information as of September,” the report cited another instance against a journalist.

The Akufo-Addo government is currently in another bitter antagonism against the Multimedia group which aired an investigative report showing the government housing and training its militia group at the former Presidential Palace-the Christianburg Castle in Accra.

Among some of the human rights issue cited by the Human Rights Watch was the execution-style killing of seven people by the Police in the guise that they were armed robbers.
“In July police killed seven persons near Kumasi in an incident that sparked riots when authorities claimed the victims were suspected robbers. In September the ministerial committee established to investigate the circumstances that led to the deaths submitted its initial report to officials. After studying the report, in a statement issued in November by the minister of information, the government directed that 21 police officers be suspended and made subjects of criminal investigations,” the report read, adding that “the government did not prosecute any officers for the incident, but it dismissed one officer and reprimanded five others.”

Aside this brutal killing, the report cited several incidents of police brutalities. By September the Police Professional Standards Bureau (PPSB) had received 77 cases of police brutality and investigated 14 of those reports.

“Police brutality, corruption, negligence, and impunity were problems. While the constitution and law prohibit such practices, there was credible reports police beat and otherwise abused suspects and other citizens. There were delays in prosecuting suspects, reports of police collaboration with criminals, and a widespread public perception of police ineptitude. Police often failed to respond to reports of abuses and, in many instances, did not act unless complainants paid for police transportation and other operating expenses,” the report stated.
Meanwhile, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described the content of the report as a “Scar on our collective conscience”.

Source: Whatsupnews Ghana

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