NCCE condemns alleged attacks on Ghanaian media

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has condemned the alleged attacks on media by some operatives from the National Security and solidarize with journalists and the inky fraternity as the fourth estate of the realm.

The Commission was appalled by the alleged assaults and molestation of Citi FM Reporters, Mr Caleb Kudah and Mrs Zoe Abu Baidoo Addo as well as Mr Peter Tabiri, Pent TV’s Western North Correspondent, who was also allegedly assaulted by some National Security operatives at Asankragua.

The Commission noted that the disregard for the dignity of the assaulted reporters flouted Article 15 (1), (2) (b) of the 1992 Constitution saying, “indeed, accounts by these journalists when they were arrested is a violation of their dignity, barbaric, unwarranted, unjustified and unconstitutional.”

A statement signed by Ms Josephine Nkrumah, NCCE Chairperson and made available to the Ghana News Agency at Tema expressed worry about the growing sense of media insecurity as more journalists and media practitioners were targeted in their line of duty.

“These unfortunate incidents, besides hampering the work of the media in the country, is also a violation of the right to free speech and expression and an affront to press freedom, which the 1992 Constitution guarantees under Article 162,” the Commission added.

The NCCE urged government and security agencies to investigate the attacks and punish perpetrators to create a safe working environment for journalists and the citizenry at large.

The NCCE noted that in safeguarding the peace and stability of the country, it was the duty of the State to protect and preserve the rights and freedoms of the citizenry; thus, irrespective of the infraction by journalists, the state security apparatus should handle such issues within the confines of the law.

The NCCE said: “the blatant violation of rights of these journalists is an abuse of their freedom which may have a telling effect on the freedom of expression by Ghanaians especially media practitioners who champion the voice of the voiceless.

“For the sake of our democracy, the NCCE appeals for cessation of these alleged abuses.”

The NCCE noted that although a Committee of Enquiry had been set up by the Ministry of National Security to unravel the circumstances surrounding the issue, the findings and recommendations of the report must be implemented to discourage future brutalities against Ghanaians and particularly journalists.

“This would stem the tide in growing cynicism and lack of confidence in Commissions of Enquiry whose recommendations are often not implemented,” the Commission stated.

The NCCE also recommended that the National Media Commission, Ghana Journalists Association, Media Foundation for West Africa and Civil Society Organizations intensified efforts and collaboration to ensure the preservation of freedom of the press in Ghana.

The Commission also called on journalists to be responsible and measured in their line of work as well as uphold the ethical standards of their profession.

The Commission acknowledged and commended the commissioning of the Office for the Coordinated Mechanism on the Safety of Journalists by the Ministry of Information as part of activities marking this year’s World Press Freedom Day earlier this month.

Source: GNA

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