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Barely three weeks following the incident of police brutalising a journalist of the Multimedia Group in Accra, another journalist working with Kessben Fm in Kumasi has suffered similar treatment at the hands of a bunch of policemen at Kwadaso in Kumasi.
Narrating his ordeal in the hands of the Policemen to the host of Kessben Fm’s morning show, Omanhene, Mr. Aseda Acheampong, the journalist, said on Wednesday 11the April 2018 at about 3pm he was on board a commercial vehicle heading towards Abuakwa, a suburb of Kumasi when the driver was stopped by some policemen for wrongful parking. In the course of time, the passengers were made to get down the vehicle to look for another to continue their journey.
This brought about some protests which made him decide to make a story of the incident. His actions infuriated one of the Policemen who began heckling him to prevent him from recording the protests from a passenger.
He further narrated that, as he tried explaining to the police that he is a journalist and only doing his work, another police officer ordered his arrest for interfering with their work. He was handcuffed and driven to the Sofoline police station from Kwadaso. On the way to the station, the accompanying officers began raining insults on him, issuing threats of incarceration for being one of the journalists tarnishing the image of the Police in Ashanti region.
At the Police station he was slapped, booted down by other policemen and later kept behind counter for hours. It took the intervention a senior officer, believed to be the regional PRO to secure his release after a number of phone calls to his colleagues. He was however made to delete the videos of the interviews he recorded with the passengers before his confiscated phone was returned to him and leaving the station.
His situation became worse on Thursday when he returned to the same station for police report to attend hospital following the slaps and beatings from the previous day.
He was arrested again, detained and charged with obstruction of justice, misconduct and resisting arrest.
Mr Acheampong said at that point the police explained that for not seeking permission from them before interviewing the passengers the previous day, he was obstructing their work. Again for questioning why he was being arrested, he was resisting arrest and explaining himself to officers amounted to misconduct.
It took the intervention of the news editor of Kessben FM, Mr. Brefo Anakwa to secure bail for him after being detained for close to five hours at the Sofoline Police Station.
Giving the spate of recent events of police attacks on journalists, it’s not clear what briefing police officers receive in their trainings. Again how these incidents are handled by the police themselves seem to suggest that to be the motivation for such attacks.
If the presence of the IGP in the region at the time this incident occurred is not deterrent enough to get police officers behaving appropriately, one is inclined to ask how and when the police will be at the rest of their professional behaviour?
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