The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has called on the Ghana Police Service to immediately arrest and prosecute the National Democratic Congress (NDC) thugs who assaulted a reporter of Citi FM/TV covering the vetting of aspirants for the party’s Odododiodio Constituency primary on October 13, 2023.
The GJA in a statement issued Saturday, October 14, signed by its General Secretary, Kofi Yeboah, said it “roundly condemns the attack on Akosua Otchere in the line of duty and calls on state and non-state actors, as well as the international community to condemn same.
“What happened at the offices of the Greater Accra Regional Branch of the NDC on Friday was an act of insanity that must not be allowed to fester in our body politic, and so we urge the Police to act swiftly to arrest and prosecute the thugs in order to help sanitise the political space, especially in respect of assault on media practitioners by political actors.”
According to GJA, the City FM/TV News Team was at the NDC regional office to perform a public-interest duty and they were properly and professionally clothed in respect of identity.
“In the circumstances, we expected the party leadership or the party as an institution to protect the news team from harm, and the thugs to refrain from making them objects of attack in their internal party skirmishes.
“The GJA has taken ‘editorial notice’ of press statements issued by the NDC’s regional and national leadership condemning the attack on the journalist, apologising for the “highly irresponsible” act and giving assurance to deal with the party’s thugs who indulged in that dastardly act.
“While waiting for action beyond the rhetoric by the regional and national leadership of the party, the GJA wishes to serve notice, with deep ink, to political parties and the general public that henceforth, any assault on journalists and the media shall be repelled with the strongest weapon we can marshal.
“The GJA has put its legal team on standby as we prepare to meet the Inspector-General of Police on Monday to discuss pertinent matters, including the recent attacks on the Citi FM/TV journalist and UTV.
“The GJA will go every length under the law to deal with political actors and individuals who may attack journalists as we gear up for the 2024 electioneering.
“We call on political parties in particular and other stakeholders to educate their members to refrain from attacking journalists and learn to channel their grievances, if any, through the appropriate avenues as dictated by the rule of law and practised in civilised states.
“Once again, we encourage journalists and media practitioners never to be intimidated by such attacks; rather, we must defy them and always stay faithful to the public interest.
“The media will continue to serve as a bridge between the government and the governed, and no individual or group will be allowed to destroy that bridge, no matter the tactics they may employ.”
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