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Editors Forum, Ghana petitions Supreme Court over jailed journalist

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KenKuranchieThe Editors Forum, Ghana (EFG) has petitioned the Supreme Court to mitigate the 10 day jail sentence imposed on Mr. Kenneth Kuranchie, Editor of the ‘Daily Searchlight’ newspaper.

In the petition signed by its Chairperson, Ms. Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, the EFG said as a body which has long campaigned for responsible journalism, it would be the first to agree to the need for the media to always bear in mind circumspection in exercising media freedom and the need for respect for the Panel.

“We are also aware that the Panel probably could have given our colleague a harsher sentence, but we believe that the Lordships only sought to send out a strong caution.

Thus, respectfully, this petition seeks to plead with the Panel through your office to consider reducing the sentence on humanitarian grounds. For, we are convinced that the intended effect, the warning to the media of the importance of knowing where to draw the line in writing, has already been achieved,” the EFG said.

The EFG in the petition addressed to the Acting Director, Complaints Unit of the Judicial Service and copied to the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina T. Wood, Chairman of the National Media Commission, Amb. Kabral Blay-Amihere, Presidents of the Ghana Journalists Association, and Private Newspaper and Publishers Association of Ghana, indicated that, indeed, it is its belief that the media family took the warning to heart as soon as the sentence was pronounced on Tuesday, July 2, 2013.

“We also believe that Mr. Kuranchie, too, has learnt his lesson,” it added.

The group therefore, pleaded with the Panel members to use their good offices to intercede on humanitarian grounds for a mitigation of Kuranchie’s 10-day sentence which he has already began serving.

Mr. Kuranchie was sentenced to a ten-day term of imprisonment for Criminal Contempt by the Election 2012 Petition Supreme Court Panel.

The EFG is a group of editors present and past, senior journalists and media educators, affiliated to the Ghana Journalists Association. It was founded in 2005 with sponsorship from the UNDP under its Peace and Governance Programme.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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